Coins and Banknotes of Vietnam
and French Indochina

XVII. Rebels. 1459-1532.

Rebel 諒山王 Lang-son Vuong. 1459-1460.

The prince of 諒山 Lang-son, called 宜民 NGHI-DAN, was the eldest son of 太宗 THAI-TONG, the second king of the 黎 LE Dynasty. Having been excluded from the succession to the crown by the nomination of his younger brother 邦幾 BANG-KI in 1443, he conceived the design of murdering him and ascending the throne. Nghi-dan set about his plans with great caution, endeavouring to gain over to his cause several mandarins, and at last, on the third day of the 10th moon of 1459, he secretly penetrated into the palace and ordered the king and his own mother to be killed.

Proclaimed king under the name of 天興 THIEN-HUNG, his first care was to send an embassy to China asking for the imperial investiture; but another palace intrigue put an end to His reign on the 6th moon of 1460. After having been degraded by the mandarines, he was sentenced to death.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.163, 天興通寶 - Thien-hung-thong-bao

No. 163. (Barker: 34.1-34.5)
Obverse: 天興通寶 Thien-hung-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain. Coin made by the rebel king.

Rebel 金江王 Cam-giang Vuong. 1509.

Tired of suffering the tyranny of King 威穆帝 OAI-MUC-DE, a general of fortune called 黎譓 LE-UINH, who had distinguished himself in 1508 by driving back from Annam a Chinese savage tribe then invading its frontiers from Yunnan, raised the banner of rebellion in Cochinchina in 1509, putting forward his brother 宗 Tong, prince of 金江 Cam-giang, who was proclaimed king under the name of 太平 THAI-BINH. The war was carried on with great rapidity, and the rebels soon invaded Tunquin after defeating the royal troops in several engagements. King Oai-muc-de, who had detained in his palace the prince of Cam-giang, ordered him and two of his younger brothers to be murdered. General UINH, exasperated at the receipt of this news, started at once for the capital, and arrived there just as Oai-muc-de had committed suicide.

For the payment of the rebel troops the following coins were issued.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.164, 交治通寶 - Giao-tri-thong-bao

No. 164. (Barker: none)
Obverse: 交治通寶 Giao-tri-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.165, 太平通寶 - Thai-binh-thong-bao

No. 165. (Barker: 53.1-53.3)
Obverse: 太平通寶 Thai-binh-thong-bao.
Reverse: without rim. Coin of diminutive size.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.166, 太平聖寶 - Thai-binh-thanh-bao

No. 166. (Barker: 54.1-54.3)
Same as the last, but with the characters 聖寶 Thanh-bao instead of Thong-bao.

There were two different kinds of metal employed in the manufacture of the two last-named coins, white and rod copper.

Rebel 陳新 Tran-tuan. 1511-1512.

This rebel revolted in the province of 興化 Hung-hoa, and soon had a numerous army which spread terror into the neighbouring countries. General 鄭 Trinh was despatched against him by the court, but his army was defeated, and TRAN-TUAN laid his plans for besieging the capital. The confidence which Tran-tuan acquired by his successes was ultimately the cause of his ruin; for no proper watch being kept in his camp. General Trinh entered it one night, followed by thirty men, and penetrating into the chief's tent, murdered him.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.167, 陳新公寶 - Tran-tuan-cong-bao

No. 167. (Barker: 41.1-41.2)
Obverse: 陳新公寶 Tran-tuan-cong-bao.
Reverse: plain. Coin issued by the above-named rebel.

Rebel 陳景 Tran-cao. 1516-1521.

This rebel appeared in the province of 海楊 Hai-duong, giving himself out to be a great-grandson of King 陳太宗 TRAN THAI-TONG, and pretending that he were a living incarnation of Buddha. He soon gathered a numerous army, his soldiers being all dressed in black and having their heads shaved. After twice besieging Hanoi, he took it by storm in 1517, and then proclaimed himself king under the name of 天應 THIEN-UNG. He soon had to leave the capital, however, as the royal troops gathered round it in great numbers, and Thien-ung took refuge in the provinces of 朗原 Lang-nguyen and 海榻 Hai-duong, transferring his authority to his sun 恭 CUNG and finally becoming a priest.

CUNG took 宣和 TUYEN-HOA as the name of his reign and succeeded in establishing a small kingdom consisting of the provinces of 朗原 Lang-nguyen and 京北 Kinh-bac. There he reigned in peace until 1521, when he was attacked and killed by the armies of 莫登庸 MAC DANG-DUNG.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.168, 天應通寶 - Thien-ung-thong-bao

No. 168. (Barker: 42.1-42.3)
Obverse: 天應通寶 Thien-ung-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain. Coin issued by the rebel king Tran-cao.

Rebel 光紹帝 Quang-thieu-de. 1531-1532.

During this period the MAC family had usurped the throne of Annam, but did not actually reign. Rebels without number revolted against their rule, and one of these was QUANG-THIEU, a member of the royal LE family. In 1531 he assembled an army of loyal followers in the province of 清華 Thanh-hoa. Having defeated the troops commanded by MAC DANG-DUNG in person, he hastened to besiege the city of 西都 Tay-do (Hue). His first successes were the cause of his ruin, just as it had happened before to many other rebel chiefs, for he allowed himself to be ignominiously surprised by General 莫國 MAC-QUOC, and being made a prisoner, he was transferred to Hanoi and sentenced to death by cutting to pieces. His followers were soon disbanded and took refuge in the province of Ailao.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.169, 光紹通寶 - Quang-thieu-thong-bao

No. 169. (Barker: see 40.1-40.5)
Obverse: 光紹通寶 Quang-thieu-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain.

These coins have the same inscriptions as those issued by King 昭宗 Chieu-tong; (1517) but they are not of such good workmanship, and the copper is nearly black.

Annam and its Minor Currency