Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Fan Ch'êng-mo

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FAN Ch'êng-mo 范承謨 (T. 覲公, H. 螺山, 髡翁), 1624–1676, Oct. 22, official, was a native of Shên-yang, Liao-tung, and belonged to a family which was affiliated with the Chinese Bordered Yellow Banner. He was the second son of Fan Wên-ch'êng [q. v.]. Becoming a chin-shih in 1652, he was made a compiler in the Hung-wên-yüan 弘文院. When occupied as a reader in the Pi-shu (秘書) yüan, in 1668, he was appointed governor of Chekiang. Three years later he asked to resign on account of ill health, but his request was refused owing to the pressure of public opinion and the recommendation of other officials who applauded his administration. In the winter of 1672 he was promoted to the post of governor-general of Fukien. Perceiving that it was impossible to decline this appointment, he requested an audience with the emperor before proceeding to his new post. This audience took place in Peking in the summer of 1673. South China was then in ferment owing to the approaching San-fan rebellion (see under Wu San-kuei).

Shortly after Fan Ch'êng-mo assumed his post at Foochow, Kêng Ching-chung [q. v.], the third Prince Ching-nan (靖南王), was assigned the territory of Fukien but rebelled and threw in his lot with Wu San-kuei. Failing to induce Fan to become an accomplice in the plot, Kêng had him imprisoned on April 20, 1674. Bitterly opposed to the rebels, Fan attempted to starve himself to death, but failed. When hope of the success of the rebellion dwindled, Kêng Ching-chung was ready to reaffirm his allegiance to the Manchus, but fearing that his share in the revolt would be reported to the government, he ordered Fan Ch'êng-mo to hang himself on the night of October 22, 1676. Fan's corpse and those of fifty-three others of his staff who suffered a similar fate were burned. In 1677 Fan Ch'êng-mo was given the posthumous name, Chung-chên 忠貞, and in 1695 a temple was erected in Foochow to his memory. His friend, Li Yü [q. v.], was deeply affected by his death and composed an obituary notice in which he compared Fan to the famous Sung patriot, Wên T'ien-hsiang (see under Chiang Shih-ch'üan).

While imprisoned in Foochow, Fan Ch'êng-mo styled his cell Mêng-ku 蒙谷, "Dark Valley", and on its white-washed walls he scrawled essays and poems with the charred ends of half-burned sticks. These drafts were copied and were published in 1708, under the title 畫壁遺稿 Hua-pi i-kao, to which Emperor Shêng-tsu wrote a preface in 1718 at the request of Fan's son, Fan Shih-ch'ung 范時崇 (T. 自牧, H. 蒼崖, d. 1721), president of the Board of War (1717–20). The Hua-pi i-kao was included in the collected works of Fan Ch'êng-mo, entitled Fan Chung-chên kung wên-chi (公文集), 10 chüan, printed by Fan Shih-ch'ung in 1708.

A younger brother of Fan Ch'êng-mo, Fan Ch'êng-hsün 范承勳 (T. 蘇公), who died in 1714 at the age of seventy-four (sui), held posts as governor of Kwangsi (1685–86), governor-general of Yunnan and Kweichow (1686–94), and president of the Board of War (1699–1704). Fan Ch'êng-hsün's son, Fan Shih-i 范時繹 (d. 1741), rose in his official career to the presidency of the Board of Works (1732–34). Among the fifty-three who died with Fan Ch'êng-mo was Chi Yung-jên 稽永仁 (T. 留山, H. 抱犢山農, 1637–1676), a man of letters who also was skilled in medicine. The latter's literary remains, 抱犢山房集 Pao-tu shan-fang chi, in 6 chüan, were edited by his son, Chi Tsêng-yün [q. v.], and were printed in 1704.


[1/258/2a; 3/341/28a; 4/119/2b; 29/2/5b; 盛京通志 Shêng-ching t'ung-chih (1769) 86/2b; Ssŭ-k'u 173/3b, 6a; Li Yü, 一家言 I Chia Yen series 2, 4/15b; China Review IX, 1880–81, p. 97–98; 稽氏宗譜 Chi-shih tsung-p'u (1907) 4/4a, 7/16a.]

Tu Lien-chê