Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chin Pao

CHIN Pao 金堡 (T. 衛公, 道隱, H. 澹歸, monastic names 性因, 今釋), 1614–1680, Sept. 1 (Jan. 17, 1681?), Ming official, writer, and Buddhist priest, was a native of Jên-ho (Hangchow). A chin-shih of 1640, he was made department magistrate of Lin-ch'ing, Shantung, but was dismissed in the same year for failure to collect his quota of taxes. He was recommended for reinstatement, but before this was effected, Peking fell and he returned to his native district to bury his mother. In 1645, when the Manchus captured Hangchow, he raised a local army to resist them and his services brought him to the attention of the Ming Prince of T'ang (see under Chu Yü-chien) who appointed him a supervising censor. He defied and incurred the wrath of Chêng Chih-lung [q. v.] and was dismissed (1646). In 1647 he visited Chu Yu-lang [q. v.] at Chao-ch'ing, Kwangtung, and was again made supervising censor. Fearless in his criticism of officials, regardless of their rank or power, he soon occupied a powerful position in the turbulent and faction-ridden court. When Li Yüan-yin 李元胤, adopted son of Li Ch'êng-tung [q. v.], was nominally in power, a contemporary cartoon represented Chin Pao as a composite tiger (五虎) of which he formed the teeth and four other officials other parts of the tiger's body. Chin so monopolized the Court that the prince was obliged to build a separate audience hall in which to receive other officials.

In 1650, after Chu Yu-lang had fled to Wu-chou, enemies of Chin Pao joined in bringing charges of usurpation of power against him. Subjected to a severe third degree, he was tortured nearly to death. Crippled in body and politically ruined, he was sentenced to banishment to Ch'ing-lang-wei, Kweichow, but he never reached his place of exile, for after stopping at Kweilin, Kwangsi, to convalesce, he entered the Buddhist priesthood. His last political act was an impassioned plea to K'ung Yu-tê [q. v.] for decent disposal of the bodies of his ill-fated colleagues of the Ming Court. He devoted himself to Buddhist works and by 1663 had raised funds and built the Pieh-ch'uan Monastery in the Tan-hsia 丹霞 hills, Jên-hua-hsien, Kwangtung. To buy a set of the Tripitaka for his monastery, he went in 1678 to P'ing-hu, Chekiang, where he died. His collected essays and poems, 徧行堂集 Pien-hsing-t'ang chi, in 49 chüan, with a supplement (hsü-chi) in 16 chüan, was banned in 1776, but a complete copy is now preserved in the National Library of Peiping. His numerous other works are not available.


[清代文字獄檔 Ch'ing-tai wên-tzŭ-yü tang, 3/1–25; 韶州府志, Shao-chou-fu chih (1876) 12/26b; Jung Chao-tsu 容肇祖, Pien-hsing t'ang chi ts'an-pên pa (殘本跋) in Chung-shan ta-hsüeh yü-yen li-shih-hsüeh yen-chiu-so chou-k'an (Chungshan University Philological and Historical Studies), VI, no. 72 (Mar. 13, 1929), pp. 23–7; M.59/32/7a; M.35/19/13b; 痛史 T'ung-shih XVI, 3/1a; 明季南略 Ming-chi nan-lüeh, 15/6b; Hsü Ch'ien-hsüeh [q. v.], Tan-yüan chi 32/12b.]

L. Carrington Goodrich