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He was the second son of Nguyễn Kim. When his father was assassinated by a Mạc supporter, his brother-in-law Trịnh Kiểm took command of the Lê Loyalist army. Sometime after his older brother (Nguyen Uong) died (believed to have been poisoned), Nguyễn Hoàng requested his brother in law, and was appointed to govern the southern-most province of Vietnam. This land was formerly Champa territory which had been conquered by Lê Thánh Tông and at the time was under control of Mạc force. Nguyễn Hoàng defeated the enemy commander Duke Lập and took over the province in 1558. In 1573 he was given the title Grand Master (Thai-pho) by Emperor Le The Ton. Later he was given the title Duke of Mon (Mon Cong).
In 1592, when Trịnh Tùng laid siege to the Eastern Capital (modern day Hanoi), Nguyễn Hoàng lend him resources and troops. The Nguyen army joined the Royal (Trịnh) army and helped destroy the remainder of the Mac army. For reasons that are mysterious, when the new Emperor, Lê Kinh Tông, ascended the throne, Nguyễn Hoàng refused to recognize the new sovereign and instead took for himself the new title of Good Prince (Huu Vuong) in 1600. Perhaps an explanation is found in that his nephew Trịnh Tùng had been given a similar title just one year earlier: Pacifying Prince (Binh An Vuong). Nguyễn Hoàng had many children (10 sons) but most of them either lost their lives in the battlefields or stayed in the North. His 6th son Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên succeeded him upon his death in 1613. He ruled the south for 55 years.
The reason Trịnh Kiểm appointed Nguyễn Hoàng to the Southern provinces is not clear. As anecdote goes, Trinh Kiểm, being afraid of losing power to Nguyễn brothers, ordered the assassination of Nguyễn Hoàng's older brother. As for Hoang, Trịnh Kiểm wanted to take advantage of Mạc's southern garrison troops to eliminate his brother in law.
|Ruler of South Vietnam|
Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên