Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'ên Ming-hsia
CH'ÊN Ming-hsia 陳名夏 (T. 百史) d. 1654, age 50 (sui), Ming-Ch'ing official, was a native of Li-yang, Kiangsu, and a member of the political group known as Fu-shê (see under Chang P'u). In 1643 he passed first in the last metropolitan examination held under the Ming regime. Taking third place in the palace examination, he was appointed a Hanlin compiler, but soon was given the rank of compiler of the first class, with the additional duties of a senior metropolitan censor. When Li Tzŭ-ch'êng [q. v.] captured Peking in 1644 Ch'ên was reported to have submitted to this usurper for a time. Hence when he returned to his native district he was listed by the court of the Prince of Fu (see under Chu Yu-sung), then opposed to the Tung-lin and Fu-shê factions, as a disloyal official. He escaped to the north in 1645 and submitted to the Manchus who at once gave him the same rank that he had in the defunct dynasty. Later in the same year he was made a vice-president of the Board of Civil Office and three years later president of the same Board. In 1651 he was promoted to the post of a Grand Secretary.
Although he was accused of bribery and usurpation of power, and was dismissed for a time, he was again made a Grand Secretary in 1653 with the additional rank of president of the Board of Civil Office. Quoted as favoring a return to Ming fashions and customs, and in particular of disapproving the tonsorial regulations imposed on the Chinese by their conquerors, he was accused of treason by Ning Wan-wo [q. v.], another Grand Secretary. Ning also accused him of forming a clique in the government to usurp power, of allowing his son to live lawlessly in Nanking, and of revising imperial decrees without authority. In consequence of Ning's memorial, Ch'ên was tried and sentenced to death by strangulation. His collected works in prose, entitled 石雲居文集 Shih-yün chü wên-chi, 15 chüan, were printed about 1646. According to the gazetteer of his native place, there is a collection of his works, entitled Shih-yün chü chi, 30 chüan.
[1/251/3b; 2/79/57a; Li-yang-hsien chih (1813) 11/30a; Cha Shên-hsing [q. v.] Jên-hai-chi, 上/5a.]