Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ming-jui

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MING-jui 明瑞 (T. 筠亭), d. 1768, first Duke Ch'êng-chia I-yung 誠嘉毅勇公 was a member of the Fuca family and belonged to the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner. He was a grandson of Li-jung-pao (see under Misḥan) whose daughter was the first Empress of Kao-tsung. His father, Fu-wên (see under Misḥan), was made Duke Ch'êng-ên in 1748 in honor of the Empress. Ming-jui inherited the dukedom early in 1750 and, after serving in various capacities, was sent in 1756 to assist in the conquest of the Ili region. His services in this connection won him the appointment to the senior vice-presidency of the Board of Revenue (1758–62) and concurrently an assistant military-governorship (1759). In 1759 there was added to his hereditary rank the designation I-yung, and later in the same year, for his share in the conquest of Turkestan (see under Chao-hui), he was rewarded with the additional minor hereditary rank of Yün-ch'i-yü, and his dukedom was made perpetual. In 1762 he was appointed first military-governor of Ili, and was given the additional rank of Ch'i-tu-yü. He carried on the work of colonizing the Ili region as begun by A-kuei [q. v.], and helped to increase its trade and population. When the rebellion of the Mohammedans of Ush took place (1765), Mingjui led his men to besiege that city. But before long his inefficiency and the discord between him and his subordinates became apparent, and A-kuei was sent to his assistance. But the latter did not prove more able, and the city fell only after it was besieged five months. Moreover, the punishment inflicted upon the rebels was regarded by the emperor as inadequate. Both Ming-jui and A-kuei were reprimanded and deprived of their ranks, but were allowed to remain at their posts. In 1766 Ming-jui was recalled from Ili and, after being appointed governor-general of Yunnan (1767), was placed in charge of the war with Burma.

Burma had been invaded in 1661 for giving refuge to the last Ming prince, Chu Yu-lang [q. v.], but for the next century, or until 1763, that country gave no serious trouble. In 1729 the aborigines of Ch'ê-li were stabilized by O-êr-t'ai [q. v.] and from that region was created the prefecture of Pu-êr. Late in 1763 a Burmese detachment invaded Ch'ê-li, but was defeated and driven off. In 1765 a Burmese army again invaded the region which, however, was recovered in 1766 by Yang Ying-chü 楊應琚 (d. 1767, son of Yang Wên-chien, see A-k'o-tun), governor-general of Yunnan. But Yang underestimated the strength of the Burmese, and when he attempted to crush them on the western border of Yunnan he suffered several reverses. These misadventures he attempted to conceal by reports of victories, but the real situation soon became known, and he was arrested and condemned to death (1767). Ming-jui arrived in the middle of that year to take his place.

Ming-jui, as commander of the main army, invaded Burma late in 1767 and gained several victories, for which he was awarded the perpetual hereditary rank of Duke Ch'êng-chia I-yung of the first class. But early in 1768, having advanced too far towards Ava, his line of communication was cut off and he soon lost his way. Instead of retreating immediately, he proposed to replenish his supplies by taking a city, but was forced to retreat, with serious loss to his army. On March 18 he ordered the whole army to retreat to safety while he and a handful of men remained to keep back the pursuers. The result was that he and many of his aides lost their lives. He was given the posthumous name Kuo-lieh 果烈, and a special temple was erected to his memory in Peking. A number of generals who failed to come to his rescue were executed. The war with Burma was simultaneously carried on by his uncle, Fu-hêng [q. v.], by A-kuei, and others.

Ming-jui, having left no male heir, was succeeded in the dukedom by his nephew, Hui-lun 惠倫, who was killed (1797) fighting the Pailien chiao rebels (see under Ê-lê-têng-pao) in Hupeh early in the Chia-ch'ing period (1796–1821).

In 1768 the family hereditary rank of Duke Ch'êng-ên was given to Ming-jui's brother, Kuei-lin 奎林 (T. 直方, 瑤園, d. 1792), after Ming-jui had himself been made a Duke. In 1782 K'uei-lin was accused of neglect of duty as military lieutenant-governor of Urumchi (1780–81), and the hereditary rank was taken from him and given to an uncle, Fu-yü 富 (or 傅) 玉.

Ching-shou 景壽 (posthumous name 端勤, d. 1889), a grandson of Hui-lun and the fifth Duke Ch'êng-chia I-yung, married in 1845 Princess Shou-ên (壽恩固倫公主, Jan. 1831–1859), the sixth daughter of Emperor Hsüan-tsung and the elder sister of I-hsin [q. v.]. Though Ching-shou was once a favorite of Emperor Wên-tsung he was one of the eight joint regents who were punished in 1861 (see under Su-shun). Three of the regents lost their lives, but he retained his dukedom and continued to hold various high posts until his death.


[1/333/3b; 3/351/22a; 7/19/12b; 1/533/1a; T'ieh-pao [q. v.], Hsi-ch'ao ya-sung chi, 101/1a.]

Fang Chao-ying