1320 (25th May)
Toghon Temür was born to Khutughtu Khan Kusala (Emperor Mingzong) and Mailaiti, a descendant of the chief of the Karluks. At the time of his birth the family were in exile in Central Asia.
1323 (4th September)
Gegeen Khan Shidebala, Emperor Yingzong, was assassinated by his opponents led by Grand Censor Tegshi and Esen Temur. Yesün Temür, who became Emperor Taiding, may have played a part in the conspiracy.
1326 (1st May)
Toghon’s younger brother, Rinchinbal Khan, was born.
1328 (15th August)
Yesün Temür Khan (Emperor Taiding) of the Yuan Dynasty died. He was succeeded by his son, Ragibagh (Emperor Tianshun) who took up residence in the Summer Palace at Shangdu. However, not all families were happy about the succession.
1328 (After August)
War of the Two Capitals
Civil war broke out over the succession. Forces based in Shangdu supported Ragibagh while forces based in the Yuan dynasty capital, Daidu (Beijing) supported the accession of Tugh Temür.
1328 (16th October)
War of the Two Capitals
The Shangdu faction were defeated and Tugh Temür became Emperor.
1329 (27th February)
Toghon’s father, Khutughtu Khan Kuśala, brother of Tugh Temür, who had been exiled, returned to Mongolia and proclaimed himself Emperor.
1329 (3rd April)
Tugh Temür abdicated and acknowledged Kuśala as Emperor.
1329 (15th May)
Tugh Temür was proclaimed heir to the throne.
1329 (late August)
Kuśala became ill shortly after attending a banquet with Tugh Temür. It is believed that he was poisoned by El Temür, chief supporter of Tugh Temür.
1329 (8th September)
Tugh Temür was re-instated as Emperor because Kuśala was very ill and unable to rule.
1329 (30th September)
Toghon Temür’s father, Khutughtu Khan Kusala died. Toghon was exiled to Goryeo (Korea).
1332 (2nd September)
Emperor Tugh Temür died. He had nominated Toghon Temür as successor rather than his own son, El Tegüs. However, El Temür was concerned he might lose control if Toghon became Emperor and so installed his younger brother Rinchinbal as Emperor.
1332 (23rd October)
Rinchinbal Khan, Emperor Ningzong died. El Temür wanted to have El El Tegüs crowned Emperor but he was stopped by the Dowager Empress, Budashiri. Toghan was summoned to return to Daidu.
Toghon Temür fell in love with a girl who had been sent as a tribute from Goryeo. Her name was Ki.
Toghon Temür married Danashili, daughter of Prime Minister El Temür. When the new Empress learned of Toghon Temür’s infatuation with Ki she ordered that she be beaten.
Prime Minister El Temür became ill and died. Head of the military, Bayan of the Merkid, took over the role.
1333 (19th July)
Toghon Temür was crowned Emperor of the Yuan dynasty. He appointed his cousin, El Tegüs as his heir.
The former tribute girl, Ki, became an imperial concubine. Empress Danishili was jealous of the amount of time Toghon spent with her. At every opportunity she harassed and beat the concubine.
A son was born to Emperor Toghon Temür and Danashili but he died young.
Bayan of the Merkid was appointed commander of the Kheshig (Imperial guard).
Empress Danishili’s brother, Tangqishi, staged a coup to take power but it failed and he was killed.
1335 (22nd July)
Empress Danishili was executed by being forced to drink poison following her brother’s failed coup.
1335 (after July)
Toghon Temür tried to have Ki installed as Empress but was opposed by Bayan of the Merkid and the dowager Empress who insisted that he marry a Mongol girl. The lady chosen was Bayan Kutugh a member of the Khonigirad tribe.
Bayan of the Merkid was appointed Grand Chancellor, giving him greater power. He was determined to restore the Yuan dynasty to its former glory and wanted to purify the Mongolian race. He banned intermmarriage between Mongolians and the Chinese and took steps to reduce Chinese monolpoly of trade. At one point he proposed killing all Chinese with the surnames Zhang, Wang, Liu Li and Zhao.
1340 (23rd January)
A son, Ayushiridara, was born to Ki and Emperor Toghon Temür. Following the birth, Ki was named secondary empress.
The Emperor had serious concerns about the authoritarian style of government used by Bayan. Toqto, Bayan’s nephew staged a successful coup against his uncle.
The Empress Bayan Kutugh fell from favour and was exiled. Ki was given the position of Second Imperial Consort making her the highest ranking lady at court.
Toqto was appointed Prime Minister and took over government of the dynasty.
Toqto resigned his post as Prime Minister. He spent time writing the history of his country.
Toghon lost much interest in the business of government and left much of the business of governemnt to secondary Empress Ki.
Emperor Toghon Temür asked Toqto and to return as Prime Minister to deal with increasing unrest caused by successive droughts, floods and famine. The region also suffered due to the Black Death plague which spread across the globe.
Ki had used her influence to ensure that her family were given high-ranking positions in Goryeo. This caused much resentment in Goryeo. Her younger brother Ki Sam-man was accused of treason and executed.
Red Turban Rebellion
This rebellion against the Yuan dynasty began. The rebels wore red turbans and carried red banners to identify themselves.
Ki’s son, Ayushiridara was named Crown Prince (heir to the throne).
King Gongmin of Goryeo was unhappy with the influence Empress Ki’s family continued to have at the Goryeo court. He ordered a purge and members of her family were executed. In retaliation Ki ordered the Yuan military to attack Goryeo but the mission failed and Goryeo remained independent of the Yuan.
Red Turban leader, Zhu Yuanzhang began taking control of former Mongol land. Yuanzhang took Nanjing and made it his capital.
Rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang, had founded the Ming dynasty and now launched a full scale rebellion against the Yuan dynasty. Unable to withstand the attack, Emperor Toghon Temur, Empress Ki and their son Ayushiridara left Daidu and fled north to Yingchang on Lake Taal Nor. Here they established the Northern Yuan.
1370 (30th May)
Emperor Toghon Temur died of dysentery and was succeeded by his son, Ayushiridara, who became Khan of the Mongols.