Coins and Banknotes of Vietnam
and French Indochina

XIV. Rebels. - 1368-1420.

In Annam not only those chiefs are considered rebels who revolted in the provinces and hold out for a longer or shorter time, but also those who succeeded in obtaining possession of the capital of the kingdom and took their seat upon the throne, without being recognized as true kings in the Annals. During the Tran Dynasty, as well as during the following 黎 Le and 阮 Nguyen Dynasties, there were insurgent chiefs without number who raised the standard of rebellion in the Annamese provinces, but only those who cast cash will be mentioned. And it will not perhaps be out of place to say that the chapters on rebel coinage must not be taken as complete, for after experiencing great difficulties in classifying the coins under this head, there still remains a quantity of cash about the issue of which no satisfactory information could be obtained.

Rebel 日禮 Nhut-le. 1368-1370.

The king DU-TONG died in the 5th moon of 1368 without leaving a successor to the throne, and NHUT-LE appeared as pretender. He was the son of an actress, who, being enceinte, married Prince 恭 CUNG, brother of DU-TONG. When that king died, Nhut-le, supported by his mother and by some officials of the palace, was proclaimed king in the capital and took 感紹 CAM-THIEU for the name of his reign. His government lasted until the 10th moon of 1370, when the proper king took the palace by storm, and making Nhut-le a prisoner, put him to death by bambooing.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.24, 感紹元寶 - Cam-thieu-nguyen-bao

No. 24. (Barker: none)
Obverse: 感紹元寶 Cam-thieu-nguyen-bao.
Reverse: without rim.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.25, 感紹元寶 - Cam-thieu-nguyen-bao

No. 25. (Barker: none)
Same as before, but having the character 寶 Bao written in a contracted form.

Coins cast by the rebel above referred to.

Rebel 阮 Nguyen. 1381-1382.

King 廢帝 PHE-DE, whose treasury was exhausted owing to the heavy expenses incurred in the prosecution of the war on the frontiers, ordered the taxes to be raised. This measure caused great discontent among the people, and the province of 北江 Bac-giang revolted under a man of low extraction called 阮 NGUYEN, who in the 8th moon proclaimed himself king under the name of 熙元 HI-NGUYEN. Soon afterwards troops came to pacify the province, and at the beginning of 1382 Hi-nguyen disappeared.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.26, 熙元通寶 - Hi-nguyen-thong-bao

No. 26. (Barker: 118.1-118.2)
Obverse: 熙元通寶 Hi-nguyen-thong-bao. The characters 元 nguyen and 寶 bao are written in the seal form.
Reverse: without rim. Coin cast by Hi-nguyen.

Rebel 使 Su. 1391-1392.

This Su was a bonze who rose in arms in the 6th moon of 1391. As for some time he had no royal troops to oppose him, he proclaimed himself king under the name of 天聖 THIEN-THANH, and had time and leisure to recruit a numerous army which arrived before the capital and surrounded it. The capital was captured in the 12th moon of 1391, and he reigned in it three days, but was soon afterwards defeated, and being made a prisoner by General 皇 HOANG, was put to death by being slowly cut to pieces.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.27, 天聖元寶 - Thien-thanh-nguyen-bao

No. 27. (Barker: see 121.1-121.2)
Obverse: 天聖元寶 Thien-thanh-nguyen-bao. The character 寶 Bao written in the seal form.
Reverse: without rim.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.28, 天聖元寶 - Thien-thanh-nguyen-bao

No. 28. (Barker: see 121.1-121.2)
Same as before, but with 元寶 Nguyen-bao written in seal characters.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.29, 天聖元寶 - Thien-thanh-nguyen-bao

No. 29. (Barker: see 121.1-121.2)
Same as No. 28, but of smaller size.

Coins cast by the rebel Su.

The 胡 Ho rebellion. 1402-1407.

Rebel 胡桻季 HO QUI-LY.1402-1403.When referring to the history of the Tran Dynasty, mention was made of General Ho QUI-LY, who in 1402 proclaimed himself king. In fact Ho Qui-Iy was more than an ordinary rebel, and he may be styled an usurper, as he had possession of the capital, and governed the whole of Annam under the name of reign of 聖元 THANH-NGUYEN. In 1403 he abdicated in favour of his son Ho HAN-THUONG.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.30, 聖元通寶 - Thanh-nguyen-thong-bao
Annam cash coin, Toda No.31, 聖元通寶 - Thanh-nguyen-thong-bao
Annam cash coin, Toda No.32, 聖元通寶 - Thanh-nguyen-thong-bao
Annam cash coin, Toda No.33, 聖元通寶 - Thanh-nguyen-thong-bao

Nos. 30-33. (Barker: see 25.1)
Obverse: 聖元通寶 Thanh-nguyen-thong-bao.
Reverse: without rim. These four coins are different in size, and are made of white copper. No. 31 has the hole in the middle round instead of square.

Rebel 胡漢蒼 HO HAN-THUONG. 1403-1407.

In the third moon of 1403, as mentioned above, Ho QUI-LY left the throne he had usurped to his son HAN-THUONG, though still keeping the reins of government for himself. The first act of the new king was to try to obtain investiture from the Emperor of China, and to this end he sent several embassies announcing that the Royal TRAN family was extinct. The Court of Nanking ordered exact information to be furnished of what had happened in Annam, and for this purpose sent to that country the Imperial Commissioner 季 Li, who on his return from his journey to Annam made a report to the Emperor in which he stated that both Ho QUI-LY and Ho HAH-THUONG were only common rebels. In 1406, the Chinese decided to occupy the country, taking advantage of the great confusion existing at the time, and passed the frontiers in great numbers. After several battles between the Chinese armies and the troops of the rebels Ho, in which victory remained with the former, in the 5th moon of 1407 both Ho QUI-LY and Ho HAN-THUONG were made prisoners by the Chinese in the province of 清華 Thanh-hoa, and were murdered by the guard escorting them to China.

The Chinese remained in Annam, fighting against the followers of the TRAN Dynasty who had revolted and pro-claimed king 簡定帝 GIAN-DINH-DE.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.34, 漢元通寶 - Han-nguyen-thong-bao
Annam cash coin, Toda No.35, 漢元通寶 - Han-nguyen-thong-bao

Nos. 34-35.(Barker: see 123.1)
Obverse: 漢元通寶 Han-nguyen-thong-bao, or original coin of HAN-NGUYEN, the name of the reign of Ho HAN-THUONG.
Reverse: plain. Coin cast of red copper.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.36, 漢元聖寶 - Han-nguyen-thanh-bao

No. 36. (Barker: see 124.1)
Same as before, but having the characters 聖寶 Thanh-bao, or holy coin, instead of 通寶 Thong-bao.

Rebel 天平 Thien-binh. 1405-1406.

THIEN-BINH was an Annamese who had taken refuge at the Chinese court at Nanking when the throne of his country was usurped by Ho QUI-LY. In 1405, he ordered the standard of rebellion to be raised in the province of 爻安 Nghe-an, and represented himself to be a descendant of the Royal TRAN Family. His followers proclaimed him king under the name of 天平 THIEN-BINH, but, in default of the aid promised to them by the Chinese, they were defeated in 1406 by the troops sent against them by Ho HAN-THUONG. The chief THIEN-BINH remained in Nanking during the revolt of his followers and did not go to Annam.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.37, 天平通寶 - Thien-binh-thong-bao

No. 37. (Barker: see 126.1)
Obverse: 天平通寶 Thien-binh-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain. Coin cast during the above-mentioned rebellion.

Rebel 羅平王 Loc-binh Vuong. 1420.

A slave belonging to the TRAM Family rose against the Chinese invaders, and presented himself as a great-grandson of king 睿宗 DUE-TONG. He gathered his followers in the province of 諒山 Lang-son, and in a month had an army of ten thousand men. He was then proclaimed king of Annam, and took the name of 永寧 VINH-NINH as the designation of his reign. He was soon attacked, however, and defeated by the Chinese troops sent against him, and disappeared from the country, nothing more being ever heard of him.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.38, 永寧通寶 - Vinh-ninh-thong-bao

No. 38. (Barker: none)
Obverse: 永寧通寶 Vinh-ninh-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain. Coin cast by Loc-binh Vuong.

Annam and its Minor Currency