Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Li T'ien-fu
LI T'ien-fu 李天馥 ( 湘北, 容齋) Mar. 12, 1635–1699, Dec. 5; official, was originally from Ho-fei, Anhwei, but registered in the examinations as a native of Yung-ch'êng, Honan. Receiving his chin-shih in 1658, he was made a corrector in 1661, and became sub-chancellor of the Grand Secretariat in 1677. He recommended Li Yin-tu (see under Ch'ü Ta-chün) and Ch'in Sung-ling (see under Ch'in Hui-t'ien) for the special examination of 1679 known as po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ (see under P'êng Sun-yü); both candidates were successful in the contest, and were noted for their scholarship. In 1688 he rose to the presidency of the Board of Works. In the spring of that year Chin Fu [q. v.], director-general of Yellow River conservancy, and Yü Ch'êng-lung [q. v.], governor of Chihli, were summoned to report in audience with the emperor on a conservancy program for the Yellow River. The two officials made conflicting recommendations—the former advocating the raising of a double embankment at Kao-chia-yen, Kiangsu, the latter proposing repairs in the lower reaches of the river and widening at the mouth. When the problem was referred to the nine ministers of state for final consideration Li supported the latter plan which also obtained the imperial sanction.
When in 1690 the Board of Civil Office was requested to recommend able district magistrates for higher governmental positions Li nominated P'êng P'êng [q. v.], magistrate of San-ho, Chihli; and Lu Lung-chi [q. v.], magistrate of Ling-shou, Chihli. Both became known as model local officials. After serving in turn as president of the Board of Punishments, of the Board of War, and of the Board of Civil Office, he finally, in 1692, was made a Grand Secretary. In 1697 he was concurrently director general of the compilation known as P'ing-ting Shuo-mo fang-lüeh (see under Chang Yü-shu), the official history of the conquest of Galdan [q. v.]. Falling ill in 1699, he died in December of that year, and the posthumous name, Wên-ting 文定, was conferred upon him. His collected poems to the number of one thousand—as the title 容齋千首詩 Jung-chai ch'ien-shou shih indicates—were reprinted in 1886 with a preface by Wang Shih-chên [q. v.], dated 1697. One of his sons, Li Fu-ch'ing 李孚青 ( 丹壑), was a chin-shih of 1679; another, Li Fu-ts'ang 李孚蒼, a chü-jên of 1699.
[1/273/2b; 3/7/1a; 7/6/11b; Ho-fei-hsien chih (1801) 24/6a.]