Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Fiongdon

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FIONGDON 費英東, 1564–1620, Apr. 10, member of the Gûwalgiya clan, and the Bordered Yellow Banner, was the second son of a Suwan (蘇完) chieftain named Solgo 索爾果 who in 1588 led five hundred of his tribesmen to join Nurhaci [q. v.]. As Fiongdon was then young and strong and an excellent fighter, he was given the eldest grand-daughter of Nurhaci to wife and was appointed to a position of importance. He requited this trust by uncovering a plot against Nurhaci and by executing the ringleader who was his own brother-in-law. For this he received the title jargûci 扎爾固齊 (in Mongol 'judge', 'lawgiver') which gave him a right to preside over hearings and to settle disputes. After commanding two expeditions against the Warka tribes Fiongdon went in 1599 to help the Hada—who had recently submitted to Nurhaci—in their struggle against the Yehe (see under Wan). In 1607, while covering the march of a group of Warka tribesmen who had tendered their submission, he was drawn into battle with the Ula beile, Bujantai [q. v.], whom he defeated. In 1615 he became one of the Five Councilors (see under Anfiyanggu). Nurhaci assumed the title of Emperor early in the following year and made Fiongdon commander of the left wing army.

Fiongdon led the attack on Fu-shun in 1618 in which the Manchus clashed with the Chinese for the first time. He followed this up by defeating the army of the Chinese general Tu Sung (see under Yang Hao) in the following year. A few months before his death he aided in the final defeat of the Yehe tribe and the capture of Gintaisi [q. v.]. Fiongdon was generally conceded to have been Nurhaci's most valuable associate, and successive emperors down to the Ch'ien-lung period outdid one another in paying him honor. T'ai-tsung gave him the posthumous title, Duke of Unswerving Uprightness (直義公 Chih-i kung), in 1632 and placed his tablet in the ancestral temple in 1636. His hereditary rank, however, was only a viscount which Emperor Shih-tsu raised in 1659 to a duke of the third class. Shêng-tsu wrote an epitaph for him in 1670. In 1731 Shih-tsung bestowed on him a dukedom with the designation, Hsin-yung 信勇, and Kao-tsung in 1778 raised the dukedom to the first class.

Fiongdon had several illustrious sons and nephews. One of his nephews, Oboi [q. v.], held a dukedom. Of Fiongdon's sons, the most prominent was the seventh, Tulai 圖賴 (1600–1646), who belonged to the Plain Yellow Banner. This son took part in most of the campaigns under T'ai-tsung, and in 1644, for his suppression of Li Tzŭ-ch'êng [q. v.] was rewarded with a dukedom. He served under Dodo [q. v.] in the conquest of Shensi, Honan, and Nanking (1644–45), and under Bolo [q. v.] in the advance on Chekiang and Fukien (1646). He died in 1646 on his way back to Peking. Two years later, on the charge of having shown partiality for Haoge and Jirgalang [qq. v.], and for having once plotted to support Haoge to the throne, Tulai was posthumously deprived of his ranks. His son who had inherited the dukedom was lowered to a commoner and the family property was confiscated on order of the powerful prince, Dorgon [q. v.]. But after Dorgon's faction lost power the dukedom and the property of Tulai were restored to his son. Tulai was canonized as Chao-hsün 昭勳 and his name was entered in the Imperial Ancestral Temple. In 1731 the designation, Hsiung-yung 雄勇, was added to the dukedom which continued to the close of the dynasty.

[1/231/3a; 2/4/1a; 3/261/1a; 4/3/5b; 7/1/6b; 11/1/1a; 34/135/1a; Pa-ch'i Man-chou shih-tsu t'ung-p'u (see under Anfiyanggû), chüan 1; 京師坊巷志 Ching-shih fang-hsiang chih 4/40a.]

George A. Kennedy