Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'ên T'ing-ching

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3634078Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Ch'ên T'ing-chingTu Lien-chê

CH'ÊN T'ing-ching 陳廷敬 (T. 子端, H. 說巖 and 午亭), 1639–1712, May, official, was a native of Tse-chou, Shansi. His name was originally Ch'ên Ching, but when he took his chin-shih degree in 1658, it was found that another successful competitor bore exactly the same name. Consequently Emperor Shih-tsu added the vocable "T'ing" in order to differentiate the two. After filling various posts in the government, Ch'ên T'ing-ching was in 1676 appointed sub chancellor of the Grand Secretariat. Soon thereafter he became chancellor of the Hanlin Academy and served, together with Chang Ying [q. v.], in the Hung-tê tien 弘德殿. In 1678 he was ordered to serve in the Imperial Study (see under Chang Ying), but soon returned home to observe the period of mourning for his mother who died in that year. Appointed chief-examiner of the metropolitan examination in 1682, he was charged in the same year with the compilation of the music for court festivals and gatherings. In 1684 he had control of the mint under the Board of Revenue, and in that capacity memorialized the throne recommending a decrease in the weight of copper coins and the opening of copper mines to private operation in order that the price of the metal would not be higher than the coins and thus encourage the practice of melting down currency. This recommendation was sanctioned and carried out as he proposed. Made senior president of the Censorate in 1684, he two years later became president of the Board of Works, and a director of the Historiographical Board which produced the history of the Ming Dynasty (Ming-shih). He became a director of this same Board again in 1694, and had to do also with several other literary projects sponsored by the government.

When the governor of Hupeh, Chang Ch'ien 張汧 (T. 蕙嶫, H. 壺陽, a chin-shih of 1646) became involved in 1688 in a bribery case, Ch'ên T'ing-ching, being a relative of the accused, retired. Two years later he was recalled, but before long had to relinguish his post for a period of mourning. In 1703 he was made Grand Secretary of the Wên-yüan ko 文淵閣 and in 1705 accompanied Emperor Shêng-tsu on the latter's fifth tour of the South. Although granted leave to retire on grounds of ill-health in 1710, the death of one Grand Secretary, Chang Yü-shu, and the absence of another, Li Kuang-ti [qq. v.], on sick leave made it necessary to recall him immediately to look after governmental affairs. He died at his post in 1712 and was canonized as Wên-ch'ên 文貞. His literary collection, 午亭文編 Wu-t'ing wên-pien in 50 chüan, was first printed in 1708 in the facsimile calligraphy of Lin Chi [q. v.]. A supplement to it, entitled Wu-t'ing shan-jên ti-êr-chih (山人第二集), 3 chüan, was printed later. Ch'ên T'ing-ching had three sons: Ch'ên Ch'ien-chi 陳謙吉, for a time sub-prefect of Huai-an-fu, Kiangsu; Ch'ên Yü-p'êng 陳豫朋 (T. 堯愷, H. 濂村, chin-shih of 1694); and Ch'ên Chuang-li 陳壯履 (T. 禮叔, H. 幼安, 潛安, chin-shih of 1697).

[1/273/5b; 3/7/8a; Ts'ê-chou-fu chih (1783) 36/33b; Shansi t'ung-chih (1734) 122/37b; Ssŭ-k'u (see under Chi Yün) 173/4b, 182/6a.]

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