Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chêng Hung-k'uei

3634104Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, Volume 1 — Chêng Hung-k'ueiEarl Swisher

CHÊNG Hung-k'uei 鄭鴻逵 (T. 羽公) d. 1657, a native of Nan-an, Fukien, was a younger brother of Chêng Chih-lung [q. v.]. He became a military chü-jên in 1630 and in reward for his brother's naval operations against the Dutch was made lieutenant in the palace guards. He became military chin-shih in 1640 and, through successive promotions, brigade-general. He was at the Ming court in Nanking in 1644, joined Chêng Chih-lung in the cause of the Prince of T'ang (see under Chu Yü-chien), and urged that the latter be formally enthroned as emperor. He was rewarded with the title of marquis and designated a meritorious official but was soon after impeached for disrespectful conduct at court. In the campaign of the winter of 1645-46 he led the Left Vanguard of the Ming troops, was defeated, and deprived of rank. On the occasion of the birth of the emperor's first son he was restored to favor and made Duke Ting-kuo 定國公. He tried to dissuade Chêng Chih-lung from going over to the Ch'ing cause and continued to co-operate half-heartedly with his nephew, Chêng Ch'êng-kung [q. v.].

In 1651 he trapped General Ma Tê-kung [q. v.] in Amoy, but spared his life to preclude Ch'ing retaliation against his brother in Peking and his family in Taiwan (Formosa). When Chêng Ch'êng-kung returned to Amoy and made his uncle, Chêng Chih-kuan (see under the former), who was nominally in charge of the defense, pay for this leniency with his life, Chêng Hung-k'uei was disgraced. The latter bore his nephew no resentment and moved to the island of Pai-sha where he enjoyed the simple pleasures of retirement. When the island was attacked by Ch'ing forces, Chêng Ch'êng-kung recalled him to Chin-mên, opposite Amoy, where he died of illness in 1657.

[M.41/5/33b, 12/35b, 19/1a; M.59/38/4b; 東南紀事 Tung-nan chi-shih 12/16a; see bibliographies of Chêng Chih-lung and Chêng Ch'êng-kung.]

Earl Swisher