Oghul Qaimish: Güyük Khan's Primary Wife and Served as Regent over the Mongol Empire

Overview

Güyük Khan's primary wife, Oghul Qaimish, served as regent over the Mongol Empire following her husband's death in 1248. Her ancestors came from the Mergid tribe. H. H. Howorth, on the other hand, mistook her for Oghul Tutmish, Möngke's wife, and though she was an Oirat.

 

Oghul Qaimish

 

Regent of Mongol Empire

Regency

From 1248 to 1251

Predecessor

Güyük Khan

Successor

Möngke Khan

Khatun of Mongols

Tenure

From 1246 to 1251

Predecessor

Töregene

Successor

Qutuqtai Khatun

Died

In 1251

Spouse

Güyük Khan

Issue

  • Khoja
  • Naqu

House

Merkit

Life

After Genghis Khan put down her clan's revolt in 1216–1219, Oghul Qaimish was handed to Güyük as a bride. Khoja and Naqu, two sons of Oghul Qaimish, were born to Güyük. In 1248, after her husband died in Turkestan's Qum-Sengir, she carried his ordo to the Ögedeids' appanage in Emil-Qobaq. Chinqai, Qadaq, and Bala, Güyük's top officials, assisted Oghul in his regency. However, she spent her time with the Mongol shamans and lacked the political abilities of her mother-in-law, Töregene. Chagatayid Khan and Yesü Möngke largely backed Oghul Qaimish, while her sons Naqu and Khoja and Shiremun, Ögedei's grandson, sought to establish their claims the throne. Her husband's general, Eljigidei, dispatched an embassy to Louis IX of France before or during the Oghul regency to offer an alliance against the Muslims. In response, Louis dispatched a force led by André de Longjumeau, but when Oghul Qaimish met them at her ordo on Emil, she returned them with gifts and letters proclaiming the Mongol demand for surrender. In 1249, Batu organized a kurultai at Ala Qamaq in the Ulus of Jochi, where Möngke was elected as Khagan. Oghul turned down Batu's offer and dispatched Bala to the assembly, demanding that Shiremun or one of the Ögedei's be chosen, khan. In 1251, when the Toluids and the Golden Horde held a second kurultai on the Kherlen River to officially crown Möngke Khan, Oghul Qaimish and her son Khoja declined to attend. However, she had the backing of the majority of the Ögedeid and Chagataid princes. Following the election of her opponent, Möngke, in 1251, Oghul Qaimish's sons and Shiremun sought to depose Möngke. Khoja was banished to the South China front when the scheme was revealed, and Shiremun was executed. Shireman's mother Qadaqach and Oghul Qaimish were called to court and detained. When Oghul Qaimish was stripped nude, she was enraged by Sorghaghtani and the other imperial ladies who interrogated her in the closed ger. She was tortured before being wrapped in felt and thrown into a river. In 1266, Kublai called her Empress Qinshu after her death.

Last updated: 2021-October-12
Tags: Mongol Empire
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