Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Shao I-ch'ên

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SHAO I-ch'ên 邵懿辰 (T. 位西, H. 蕙西), 1810–1861, Dec. 31, scholar and bibliophile, who died a martyr in the Taiping rebellion, was a native of Jên-ho (Hangchow). Made a chü-jên in 1831, he obtained a post as a secretary of the Grand Secretariat (1841). He became a secretary of the Council of State in 1845, a second class secretary in the Board of Revenue in 1846, and an assistant department director in the Board of Punishments in 1848. But owing to his unusual candor and outspokenness—as in his denunciation of the Grand Secretaries, Ch'i-shan [q. v.] and Sai-shang-a (see under Ch'ung-ch'i)—he was feared and disliked in official circles of Peking. Consequently he was relegated (1853) to an outside post as assistant in river conservancy at Tsining, Shantung. From this post, too, he was dismissed in the summer of 1854. He then went back to his home in Hangchow and devoted himself to writing. In 1859 he was given back his original official ranks for his service in organizing a volunteer corps against the Taiping rebels. When Hangchow fell into the hands of the Taipings, in the spring of 1860, he took his mother to Shaohsing; but after a few days Hangchow was recovered by the government forces. His mother died, and he went in the following year (1861) to live in Hangchow. In the winter of the same year, however, Hangchow again fell into the hands of the rebels. This time he declined to leave the city, explaining that he had left it before only for the sake of his mother. After sending away his wife and two sons, he assisted the governor in defending the city. Three days after the city was taken he was killed by the rebels for resisting them. In 1865 the facts about his death were reported to the throne by Ma Hsin-i [q. v.], governor of Chekiang. Shao's name was then entered in the Temple to the Zealots of the Dynasty at Hangchow, and his elder son, Shao Shun-nien 邵順年 (T. 子齡, d. 1865), was given the hereditary rank of Yün-ch'i yü.

Several works by Shao I-ch'ên are said to have been destroyed or lost in the turmoil of his time. Nevertheless, he left one on Rites, 禮經通論 Li-ching t'ung-lun, which was printed in the Huang-Ch'ing ching-chieh hsü-pien (see Juan Yüan). A collection of notes, entitled 忱行錄 Ch'ên-hsing lu, which he jotted down in 1843–44 when he was serving in the Grand Secretariat, was printed in the Tang-kuei ts'ao-t'ang ts'ung-shu (see under Ting Ping). A small collection of his verse, 位西先天遺稿 Wei-hsi hsien-shêng i-kao, was included in the P'ang-hsi chai ts'ung shu (see under P'an Tsu-yin) and a collection of his prose, 位西遺文 Wei-hsi i-wên, was also printed. He had a choice library and was especially interested in unusual editions. While he was in Peking he made it a practice to keep a copy of the Ssŭ-k'u chien-ming mu-lu (see under Chi Yün) on his desk, and as he came across variant editions, he noted them in the margins of this copy. These notes were later arranged, edited, and printed—along with the original titles in the Chien-ming mu-lu—by his grandson, Shao Chang 邵章 (T. 伯絅), under the title, Ssŭ-k'u chien-ming mu-lu piao-chu (標註), 20 chüan (1911). It also contains bibliographical notes by Wang I-jung, Sun I-jang, Huang Shao-chi [qq. v.], Wang Sung-yü 王頌蔚 (T. 芾卿, H. 蒿隱, 1848–1895) and others. Shao Chang likewise printed (1908) a collection of his grandfather's literary works under the title 半巖廬遺集 Pan-yen lu i-chi, 2 chüan. It is recorded that another edition of Shao I-ch'ên's literary works, consisting of 2 chüan of prose entitled Pan-yen lu i-wên (文), and 2 chüan of verse entitled Pan-yen lu i-shih (詩), was printed in 1922.


[1/486/37b; 2/65/43b, 67/52a; 5/54/22b; Hangchow fu-chih (1922) 131/39a; 浙江忠義錄 Che-chiang chung-i lu (1875) 7/21a; Yeh Ch'ang-ch'ih, Ts'ang-shu chi-shih shih (see under P'an Tsu-yin) 6/476.]

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