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Researchers discover 18th century royal promotion decree

A research team of Ha Tinh Museum has discovered a royal decree dating to 1784.

The decree was found at the Phan Van family in Tram Bang village in central Ha Tinh province’s Duc Lap commune.

Nguyen Tri Son, director of the museum, confirmed that the decree was signed on February 26, 1784, the 14th year of King Le Hien Tong’s reign.

Even after centuries, the document remains intact, measuring 2.1m long and 0.5m wide, with bold, black Chinese characters on a yellow background.

The front of the document was decorated in dragon patterns and has a square royal seal with clear date, while the back of the paper was decorated in dragon, phoenix and cloud patterns.

The document talks about the promotion of a noted military general, Phan Hang, who used to live in Phung Cong commune in Nghe An region’s Huong Son district (today’s Duc Lap commune, Duc Tho district, Ha Tinh province).

According to the team’s research, Phan Hang directed navy troops to protect the Lord’s Palace. Due to his contributions, he was promoted to lead the entire military troops under King Le Hien Tong, whose rule was dubbed as Canh Hung reign (1740-1786).