Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'êng K'o-kung

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CH'ÊNG K'o-kung 成克鞏 (T. 子固, H. 青壇), 1608–1691, official and scholar, was a native of Ta-ming, Chihli, third son of Ch'êng Chi-ming 成基命 (T. 靖之, H. 毖予, posthumous name 文穆, d. 1635) a chin-shih of 1607 and Grand Secretary under the Ming dynasty. Ch'êng K'o-kung became a chin-shih in 1643 at the last examinations held under the Mings. While seeking to avoid unsettled conditions about the capital in the following year, he was delivered from bandits through the courage and devotion of his son, Ch'êng Liang 成亮 (T. 寅天, H. 伾嵐), a chin-shih of 1649. After remainig at home for a time he returned to Peking in 1645 as a corrector in the Kuo-shih yüian 國史院. Having served in various official capacities, including the vice-presidency of the Board of Civil Office, he was promoted about the middle of 1653 to be a Grand Secretary. In 1658 he was made concurrently president of the Board of Revenue. Dismissed from office in 1660 he was reinstated by the end of the year, but in 1663 his request to retire on the plea of ill health was granted and he returned to Ta-ming.

The later years of his life seem to have been spent quietly in literary pursuits. The gazetteers of his native place record several titles of his works in prose and poetry and include examples from them. A work, entitled 倫史 Lun-shih, in 50 chüan, giving historical examples of ethical conduct according to each of the five relations, was completed in 1677, printed before 1789, and given notice in the Ssŭ-k'u Catalogue (see under Chi Yün). Ch'êng K'o-kung's two sons and five grandsons, though less eminent, carried on the tradition of official life and scholarship, as did great-grandsons to six generations. A descendant of the family, Ch'êng Ching-lan, was the wife of the eminent historian Ts'ui Shu [q. v.].

[1/180/5a–11b; 4/7/7a; 12/1/8a–13a; Ta-ming-hsien chih (1789) 35/1b–14a; id. 24/1a–3a quotes his preface to Lun-shih at length; Ta-ming-fu chih (1853) 17/62, 85; id. 18/40a–73a; Ssŭ-k'u 133/1a; Ts'ui Shu, Ts'ui Tung-pi i-shu vol. 8 (ed. of 1936) pp. 33–170 for biographies of members of the family.]

Dean R. Wickes