A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chang Ts'ung

122Chang Ts'ung 寣璁 (T. 秉用). A.D. 1475-1539. A native of Yung-chia in Chehkiang, who after failing seven times to obtain the chü jen degree, graduated as chin shih in 1521. By supporting the desire of the Emperor Shih Tsung to have his father canonised as 本生父興獻帝, while the general body of officials urged that the Emperor must recognise his predecessor alone as his (adopted) father, Chang obtained rapid promotion, along with Kuei O. By backing his master's views on all points of music and ceremony — the Emperor's hobbies — he gained such further favour that in 1527 he became a Grand Secretary. He was now able to wreak his vengeance on the Han-lin doctors who had at first ignored him. In 1529 he was denounced for arrogance and dismissed, only to be immediately reinstated as Prime Minister. He then came into conflict with Hsia Yen, and after a stormy term of office he retired in ill-health in 1535. The Emperor never wavered in his affection for Chang, who was able to effect some reforms, such as the abolition of eunuch Commandants. He was himself clean-handed, and put down bribery to a great extent; but he was vindictive, and persecuted his opponents. In 1581 he was allowed to change his personal name, which resembled that of the Emperor, to 孚敬 (T. 茂恭). Canonised as 文忠.