Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chu Yu-lang

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3637537Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Chu Yu-langJ. C. Yang

CHU Yu-lang 朱由榔, Nov., 1623–1662, June, was a son of Chu Ch'ang-ying 朱常瀛 (d. Nov.–Dec., 1644) and a grandson of the Ming emperor, Shên-tsung, who ruled in the years 1573–1620 under the reign-title Wan-li 萬曆. In 1627 Chu Yu-lang left the capital with his father when the latter was granted an estate in Hêng-chou, Hunan. He was given the title Prince of Yung-ming (永明王) in 1636 and his elder brother, Chu Yu-ai 朱由楥 (d. 1646), became Prince of An-jên 安仁王. When Hêng-chou was taken (1643) by Chang Hsien-chung [q. v.] Chu fled with his father and brother southwest toward Ch'üan-chou, Kwangsi, but at Yung-chou, Hunan, they parted company. While on his way to Kwangsi, Chu Yu-lang was made prisoner at Tao-chou, Hunan, but escaped with the aid of Chiao Lien (see under Ch'ü Shih-ssŭ), then a subordinate to Yang Kuo-wei 楊國威 (d. 1646), a general in Kwangsi. He rejoined his father who by late in the summer of 1644 had moved from Ch'üan-chou to Wu-chou, Kwangsi, and there, in the autumn of that year, his father died. In the summer of 1645 Chu Yu-lang met Ch'ü Shih-ssŭ at Wu-chou when the latter was on his way to take office as governor of Kwangsi. After the Prince of T'ang (see under Chu Yu-chien) had proclaimed himself emperor (August 18, 1645), Chu Yu-lang was ordered to Chao-ch'ing, Kwangtung, but soon after returned to Wu-chou because the Manchu forces were pressing on toward Kan-chou, Kiangsi (June 1646). Distressed at the death of his elder brother at Wu-chou, he decided to proceed with Ch'ü Shih-ssŭ again to Chao-ch'ing (September–October).

Early in 1646 Chu Yu-lang had been given the title Prince of Kuei (桂王)—the one who conveyed this information to him being the eunuch, P'ang T'ien-shou (see below). After the Prince of T'ang was taken captive by the Manchus (October 6, 1646), Chu Yu-lang assumed the responsibility of continuing the Ming court at Chao-ch'ing and on November 20 took the title "administrator of the realm" (監國). When the news of the advance of Manchu troops toward Kan-chou reached Chao-ch'ing, Chu Yu-lang and his court fled to Wu-chou, arriving December 7. On December 11 Chu Yü-yüeh (see under Chu Yü-chien) was proclaimed emperor at Canton under the reign-title Shao-wu. Chu Yu-lang, finding the Manchu forces for the time being less pressing, returned to Chao-ch'ing (December 18) and six days later he also was proclaimed emperor with the reign-title Yung-li (永曆). He initiated a campaign against Chu Yü-yüeh, but was defeated on January 7, 1647 at San-shui, Kwangtung. On January 20 the Manchu troops, led by Li Ch'êng-tung [q. v.], took Canton, whereupon Chu Yü-yüeh committed suicide to avoid capture. A few days later Chu Yu-lang again fled westward to Wu-chou. On February 20 Chao-ch'ing fell to the Manchus, and he fled northward—first to P'ing-lo, Kwangsi, and at the end of the month to Kuei-lin in the same province. In this emergency all of his high officials, except Ch'ü Shih-ssŭ, left him. After the Manchus took P'ing-lo, he fled (March 20) northward to Ch'üan-chou. In the meantime Ch'ü Shih-ssŭ was placed in full charge of the defense of Kuei-lin where he stayed three years until the city was captured and he himself was made prisoner. The Manchus laid siege to Kuei-lin (April 18, 1647) whereupon Chu Yu-lang fled (May 8) yet farther north to Wu-kang, Hunan. Meanwhile they ordered K'ung Yu-tê, Kêng Chung-ming, and Shang K'o-hsi [qq. v.] to attack the remaining Ming forces from three directions. On June 27 the three armies met at Kuei-lin and initiated a second attack on that city. With the aid of Western cannon Ch'ü Shih-ssŭ, together with Chiao Lien, was able to defend the city and finally (July 1) routed the Manchus whose withdrawal made it possible for the Ming troops to recover a number of lost cities. On September 21 the Manchus pressed on Wu-kang whereupon Chu Yu-lang sought safety in Ching-chou, Hunan, and later in Liu-chou and Hsiang-chou in Kwangsi. He intended to proceed from there still farther southwest to Nan-ning, Kwangsi, but at the urgent request of Ch'ü Shih-ssŭ once more returned to Kuei-lin (December 28), while his household retired to Nan-ning. At Kuei-lin he enjoyed a brief respite, until March 15, 1648, when the Ming troops were defeated in the nearby city of Ling-ch'uan, Kwangsi. Thereupon Chu Yu-lang renewed his-flight, joining his household at Nan-ning on April 2. For a third time Kuei-lin was besieged (April 14) by the Manchus, but the defection of Chin Shêng-huan [q. v.] and Li Ch'êng-tung from the Ch'ing cause made it necessary for the invaders to retire to Kiangsi and Kwangtung. In the ensuing six months the Ming troops recovered a large part of southwest China. At the request of Li Ch'êng-tung, Chu returned to Wu-chou (August 19) and a month later (September 17) to Chao-ch'ing where, until the end of the year (1648), he enjoyed tranquility, anticipating the complete restoration of the Ming regime.

This peace, however, did not last long, for after March 1649 the Ming forces were repeatedly defeated on several fronts. On March 1 Nanchang fell and Chin Shêng-huan was killed. Two days later Hsiang-t'an was taken and Ho T'êng-chiao [q. v.] was shortly after put to death. A month later Li Ch'êng-tung was defeated at Hsin-fêng, Kiangsi, and drowned himself (April 7). But the decisive campaign against the Ming court did not begin until early in 1650. On February 3 of that year, Nan-hsiung, Kwangtung, fell to the Manchus and four days later Chu Yu-lang abandoned Chao-ch'ing. He went by boat to Wu-chou which he now entered (March 2) for the sixth time. In the ensuing nine months he held his court on boats which his minister, Yen Ch'i-hêng 嚴起恆 (T. 震生, 秋冶, d. 1651, a chin-shih of 1631), designated "The Water Palace" (水殿). On November 24, 1650 Canton was taken and three days later Kuei-lin also. Chu Yu-lang abandoned his "Water Palace" (December 2) and moved still farther west to Nan-ning. On his way he learned that Ch'ü Shih-ssŭ had been taken prisoner. The Ch'ing forces took Wu-chou on April 5, 1651 and Liu-chou ten days later. On October 15 P'ing-lo fell, and Chu Yu-lang abandoned Nan-ning for Hsin-ning (present Fu-nan), Kwangsi. After the fall of Pin-chou (January 11, 1652) and Nan-ning (January 17) Chu fled westward to Lung-ying (present Lung-ming), Kwangsi, and later (February 24) still westward to Kwang-nan, Yunnan, where he met the representatives of Sun K'o-wang [q. v.] who invited him to Kweichow. On March 15 he arrived at An-lung, a city in Kweichow near the borders of Kwangsi and Yunnan, where he made his headquarters for four years (1652–56) under the protection and support of Sun K'o-wang. Meanwhile Li Ting-kuo [q. v.], a subordinate of Sun K'o-wang, held the Manchus at bay in a guerrilla war extending over Hunan, Kwangtung, and Kwangsi. But by 1656 antagonism between Sun and Li developed to such proportions that they engaged in a battle near An-lung in which Sun was defeated. Chu Yu-lang, now under Li's protection, fled to Yunnanfu where he established his court (February 15, 1656) in the newly-built mansion of Sun K'o-wang. After suffering another defeat at the hands of Li, Sun retired northward to Changsha where he surrendered to the Manchu army under Hung Ch'êng-ch'ou [q. v.]. When the Manchus occupied Ch'ü-ching, Yunnan (December 25, 1658), Chu fled westward to Yung-p'ing, Yunnan, where he arrived late in January 1659. On January 25 Yunnanfu also fell to the Manchus.

After the Ming troops were defeated at Tali, Yunnan (March 7), Chu Yu-lang fled the next day to T'êng-yüeh, a city near the border of Burma. From there hs dispatched a message to the Burmese officials in Bhamo expressing a desire to take refuge in that country. Leaving T'êng-yüeh on March 13, he reached Mêng-mao a week later. On March 23, he and his entourage, numbering about 1,478 persons, arrived at Bhamo and were allowed to enter that city on condition that they surrender their arms. The Burmese sent four boats to welcome them to Ava. Chu Yu-lang and his household, numbering 646 persons, sailed down the Irrawaddy while the rest of the party made the journey by land. After twelve days Chu reached Tsengoo Myo (?), but was detained there more than two and one half months by order of the King of Burma. In the meantime the overland party reached Ava (May 7), but made its headquarters across the river from Ava at Sagaing. There the group was surrounded by Burmese troops, and most of its members were either killed or made slaves. Less than ninety, led by the son of the Prince of Min (珉王), found safety in Siam. The "dragon boat" which the King of Burma had dispatched to welcome Chu Yu-lang arrived at Tsengoo Myo (?) on June 23. The company set off the next day, reaching Ava June 26th. They, too, established quarters at Sagaing where they remained for the next two years, treated virtually as prisoners.

The remnant of the Ming army under Li Ting-kuo and Po Wên-hsüan 白文選 occupied the northeast part of Burma and defeated the Burmese troops at Hsipaw early in 1661, but did not succeed in rescuing Chu Yu-lang. On June 19 a brother of King Bintale of Burma, the Prince of Prome, led an insurrection and drowned the King. On August 13 he summoned the Ming officials to the Tupayon (stupa) at Sagaing, on the pretense of swearing allegiance to the new regime. There more than half of the company was mowed down by Burmese troops, and Chu Yu-lang and about 340 others were placed under heavy guard. On January 20, 1662 Wu San-kuei [q. v.] arrived with a large force at Aungbinle, a few miles outside of Ava, to demand the surrender of Chu Yu-lang. Two days later Chu and his household were delivered to Wu and taken to Yunnanfu (April 30) where he and his young son, Chu Tz'ŭ-hsüan 朱慈烜 (b. April 23, 1648), were put to death in June by strangulation with a bowstring. His mother and his legal wife were sent to Peking but, according to some accounts, they died on the way.

Through the influence of the eunuch, P'ang T'ien-shou 龐天壽 (d. 1657, age 70 sui), and P. Andreas Wolfgang [Xavier] Koflier (1603–1651), most of the immediate household of Chu Yu-lang were brought under the influence of Christianity. This eunuch had been baptized in Peking by Nicolas Longobardi 龍華民 (T. 精華, 1559–1654) before 1630 under the name Achilles 亞基樓. The legal wife of Chu Yu-lang's father, born of a family named Wang 王, was baptized in 1648 under the Christian name Helena; Chu Yu-lang's own mother, of a family named Ma 馬, was baptized as Maria; his legal wife, the Empress, born of a family named Wang 王, was baptized as Anna; his legitimate son and heir-apparent, Chu Tz'ŭ-hsüan, received the baptismal name Constantine. On November 4, 1650 the Empress Dowager, Helena, wrote a personal letter to Pope Innocent X and another to the Jesuit General asking prayers for the Ming cause and the dispatch of more missionaries to China. Two similar letters, addressed to the same personage, but dated November 1, were written by P'ang T'ien-shou. The originals of the two letters to the Pope are preserved in the Vatican; the two addressed to the Jesuit General are known only in their Latin versions. These four letters were carried to Europe by P. Michel Boym 卜彌格 (T. 致遠, H. 1612–1659) who set out from Macao on January 1, 1651 with two Chinese companions, one of whom abandoned the journey en route. He did not reach Venice until the close of 1652, and owing to the illness and death of the Pope it was not until 1655 that he obtained replies (dated December 18) from the newly-elected pontiff, Alexander VII. When Boym and his Chinese companion, named Andrew, reached China (1659) on their return mission they found the passes of Kwangsi securely guarded by the Manchus, and perhaps also learned that Empress Helena had died at T'ien-chou, Kwangsi, some years before (May 30, 1651). Worn out and dejected, Boym himself died in August 1659, unable to deliver the message which the Pope had written.

[M.1/120/7a; M.3/4/1a; M.41/13/21a following; M.59/4/1a; M.59/補遺/6a, 7a; Wang Fu-chih [q. v.], Yung-li shih-lu; 鹿樵紀聞 Lu-ch'iao chi-wên (痛史) 下/1a; 明季南略 Ming-chi nan-lüeh; 明季稗史彙編 Ming-chi pai-shih hui-pien; Ch'ü Shih-ssŭ [q. v.], Chü Chung-hsüan kung chi 7/1a; Cha Chi-tso [q. v.], Tsui-wei lu (紀) 21/1a; Pelliot, "Michel Boym", T'oung Pao (1934) p p. 95–151; Jäger, "Die Letzten Tage Das Kü Schï-sï", Sinica VIII (1933) 197–207; Ignatius Ying-ki, "The Last Emperor of the Ming Dynasty and Catholicity", Bulletin of the Catholic University of Peking, no. 1, pp. 23–28 for translation into English of the two letters to the Pope; Parker, E. H., "Letters from a Chinese Empress and a Chinese Eunuch to the Pope in the Year 1650", Contemporary Review, vol. CI (1912), pp. 79–83; Pfister, Notices Bioqraphiques et Bibliographiques, I, pp. 266, 270 passim; Mizukuri Gempachi & Tanaka Yoshinari 箕作元八, 田中義成, 明ノ王太后ヨリ羅馬法王ニ贈リツ論文 in Shigaku Zasshi 史学雜誌 (1892) vol. III, No. 37, pp. 885–893; Kuwabara Jitsuzō 桑原騭藏, 明ノ龎天壽ヨリ羅馬法皇ニ送呈セシ文書 in Shigaku Zasshi (1900), vol. XI, nos. 3, 5; Harvey, G. E., History of Burma (1925), pp. 196–201; W.M.S.C.K., chüan 11; Tung-fang tsa-chih ("The Far Eastern Miscellany") vol. 8, no. 5 (1911).]

J. C. Yang