Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Cuyen
CUYEN 褚英 (出燕), 1580–1615, Sept.–Oct., was the eldest son of Nurhaci [q. v.]. His mother was Hahana Jacing (see under Nurhaci), who likewise gave birth to Daišan [q. v.], and to a daughter who married Hohori [q. v.]. Cuyen was at first given the title taiji, a Mongolian word for 'prince.' In 1598 he and several generals were sent with a thousand men to subdue the Anculakû 按褚拉庫 tribe northeast of Hetu Ala. After taking twenty forts and capturing a large number of men and animals, Cuyen returned in triumph and was given the title, Hung Baturu 烘把圖魯—hence the references to him in Chinese accounts as Hung-pa-t'u 紅把兎. In 1607 he and Šurhaci [q. v.] and Daišan were sent to Fio hoton 斐悠城, near present Hunch'un, Kirin, to remove a tribe of settlers to Hetu Ala on the pretext that the tribe was oppressed by Bujantai [q. v.] of Ula. Šurhaci, who had given two of his daughters in marriage to Bujantai, did not want to cause trouble with Ula and tried to prevent the expedition from being a success. But Cuyen and Daišan went on with the removal of the Fio tribe and fought bravely against Bujantai who rose to protect his domain. Cuyen and Daišan won the battle while Šurhaci watched from a distance. For his bravery Cuyen was given the title, Arhatu tumên 阿爾哈圖土門, later translated as Kuang-lüeh 廣略 ("resourceful strategist"). In 1608 he and Amin [q. v.] again invaded Ula and took a mountain fortress.
About this time (1608–13) Cuyen, as the eldest son of Nurhaci (the son of his first wife) and a veteran of many wars, was a very powerful prince. Gradually his father gave him some responsibilities in government, probably chiefly in civil affairs. But Cuyen was selfish, and treated his brothers and cousins unkindly. Finally several of the princes—Abahai, Manggûltai [qq. v.], Daišan, and Amin in particular—sent separate pleas to Nurhaci asking that Cuyen be curbed; and pointing out, among other injustices, his unfair division of booty. Nurhaci severely reprimanded Cuyen and ordered him to be more considerate of his brothers. When in 1612 Nurhaci set out on an invasion of Ula he left Daišan at Hetu Ala to assist Cuyen, or perhaps to watch him. Early in the following year Nurhaci again invaded Ula and in a few days conquered that territory. But while he was away he received secret reports that Cuyen had treasonous plans and had employed charms against the whole family. Nurhaci was infuriated and only refrained from ordering the outright execution of Cuyen on the ground that he was the eldest son. But Cuyen was placed in confinement and died in prison two years later. According to his official biography, he was executed. A contemporary Ming account (probably based on hearsay) asserts that Cuyen was sentenced to die because he advised his father against an aggressive policy toward China.
After the elimination of Cuyen his opponents—Daišan, Amin, Manggūltai, and Abahai—jointly assisted Nurhaci in the administration. As long as Nurhaci lived these four beile cooperated well and the country was prosperous. Nurhaci's experience with Cuyen, and later with the four beile, probably gave him the idea of dividing the authority after his death among eight princes who would rule jointly under a nominal emperor.
Cuyen was made a beile as early as 1598, but after his transgressions he was deprived of that rank. His third son, Nikan (d. 1652, q.v.), won for himself the rank of a prince of the first degree. Cuyen's eldest son, Dudu 杜度 (都督, 1597–1642), was at first a taiji and was made a beile about 1626. Dudu took part in several campaigns of the T'ien-ts'ung period (1627–36) and also participated in the civil administration. In 1636 he was made a prince of the third degree with the designation, An-p'ing 安平貝勒. Dudu's eldest son, Durhu 杜爾祜 (1615–1655), was also a prince of the third degree. A descendant of Durhu, named Kuang-yü 光裕 ( 伯寬, d. 1900), was posthumously given the rank of a prince of the fourth degree after he committed suicide in 1900 when Peking fell to the Allies. A grandson of Dudu, named Sunu [q. v.], was converted to the Catholic faith.
[1/222/1a; 2/3/12b; Ch'ing T'ai-tsu Wu-huang-ti shih-lu (see under Nurhaci); 宗室王公功續表傳 Tsung-shih Wang Kung kung-chi piao-chuan 9/7a; 清皇室四譜 Ch'ing Huang-shih ssŭ-p'u; Man-chou lao-tang pi-lu (see under Nurhaci).]