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A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chang Hsien-chung

58Chang Hsien-chung 張獻忠. 17th cent. A.D. A noted rebel at the close of the Ming dynasty, and rival to Li Tzŭ-ch'êng. In 1628 he headed a band of freebooters in the Yen-an Prefecture in Shensi, and for the following ten years had a chequered career in Hu-Kuang and Anhui, sometimes at the head of a large army and living like a ruling sovereign, sometimes a hunted fugitive with a price upon his head. When Li Tzŭ-ch'êng started for Peking in 1643, Chang invaded Ssŭch'uan and speedily made himself master of the province. For the next five years he reigned as Emperor of the West, until at length the Manchus attacked him and he was killed in battle. He is chiefly known as one of the most murderous ruffians who have disgraced the annals of China.