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Record of Bequeathal by Bak Uihwon

1602

Academy of Korean Studies

Academy of Korean Studies
Seongnam-si, South Korea

This document records the distribution of the
property held by Bak Uihwan to his seven offspring
in 1602. Although the first line of this record states
that the estate would be distributed to his two
surviving sons and three daughters as well as the
three deceased offspring, the actual distribution
was only made to the five living, offspring and
two of his deceased sons, thereby omitting one
deceased son.
Unlike other property distribution documents,
this document gives a detailed account of the
bequeather’s family life. For example, it recounts
that he had married five women and had eight
children with them. It also provides details on how
he had met and divorced with the five women,
and also their subsequent relationships with
other men following the divorce. According to this
record, Bak Uihwan distributed seven slaves, one
hundred and seventy-two majigi of rice paddy and
fifty-one majigi of field to each of his offspring in
unequal shares.
In the record, Bak Uihwon identifies himself
simply as an ailing father, without revealing his
occupational title. His five wives were named
Eunhwa, Jindae, Mongji, Gajilgeum, and Yeobae,
which suggests that he was a wealthy commoner
rather than a nobleman or of the middle class, or
he might have been a lower-level clerk as there
are records of him visiting the local government.
Corrections made to letters in this document were
authenticated with the signature of the witness
and author placed on the back of the document.

Details

  • Title: Record of Bequeathal by Bak Uihwon
  • Date Created: 1602
  • Physical Dimensions: Single sheet
  • Original Language: Chinese

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