Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Haoge

HAOGE 豪格, Apr. 16, 1609–1648, Apr.–May, member of the Imperial Family, was the eldest son of Abahai [q. v.]. Early in life he distinguished himself in military exploits, and by 1626 had already been made a beile. During his father's reign (1626–1643) he was active in many of the expeditions carried out under the leadership of one or another of his uncles, and was promoted in 1636 to the rank of Ch'in-wang 親王 with the designation Su 肅. After the establishment of the Six Ministries in that year he was intermittently head of the Board of Revenue, but was twice punished for becoming involved in intrigues. When Abahai died in 1643, Haoge appeared to be the logical heir to the throne. He was then thirty-four years old, his next living brother being less than sixteen. At the council following Abahai's death Haoge's claims were put forward by Daišan [q. v.], who had been practically co-ruler during the last reign (see under Manggûltai). Despite this influential support Haoge felt obliged to refuse the throne through fear of his uncle Dorgon [q. v.]. This uncle, the fourteenth son of Nurhaci, only thirty-one years old at the time, had shown himself to be the most capable of Nurhaci's children and was thought by some to have been his father's choice as heir. The accession of Abahai in 1626, had cheated him, it was felt, of his rightful position, and there was a desire in some quarters to see him succeed to the throne. Dorgon himself was too shrewd to accept the imperial title but he ensured for himself a position of power by forcing the selection of Abahai's ninth son, Fu-lin [q. v.], a child of five, and nominating himself as regent. This led to extreme enmity between himself and Haoge, which Dorgon attempted to crush by stripping the latter of his princely rank. Haoge's military record, however, was too important to ignore, and late in the year 1644 he was restored to the rank of Ch'in-wang. In the following year he successfully stamped out some of the bandit groups in Shantung. In 1646 he was appointed to head an army for the conquest of Shensi and Szechwan whither the forces of Chang Hsien-chung [q. v.] had retired. He took the latter captive at Hsi-ch'ung, Szechwan, on January 2, 1647 and, according to some accounts, executed him with his own hands.

After another year spent in consolidating Manchu control of the province, Haoge returned in 1648 with his forces to Peking. He enjoyed only a month of liberty, for Dorgon found cause to throw him into prison on March 29, where he soon died. His consort was taken by Dorgon into his own household. Two years later Dorgon died and the young emperor began an independent reign. Early in 1651 he cleared Haoge's name, restored to him posthumously the rank and title of Prince Su, and erected a memorial tablet for him. In 1656 he conferred on him the posthumous name Wu 武, "martial". His was the first case of the extension of this Chinese practice to Manchu princes. In 1778 Haoge's name was entered in the Imperial Ancestral Hall because of his support to the founders of the dynasty. The hereditary rank of Su Ch'in-wang was handed down to Haoge's descendants, the holders of the title occupying fourth place among the "Eight Great Houses" (see under Dorgon). The last Prince Su (personal name Shan-ch'i 善耆, 1863–1921) was reduced to poverty by the loss of the family estates in Manchuria resulting from the agreements made between China and Russia before and after the Boxer Uprising of 1900. He was privately helped by Japanese, and under the protection of Yüan Shih-k'ai (see under Yüan Chia-san) rose to be Minister of the Interior from 1907–1911. After the Revolution in the latter year he went into retirement at Port Arthur where he died ten years later.


[1/225/1b; 2/2/21a; 3/首5/16a; 4/1/15b; 34/127; E. Backhouse and J. O. P. Bland, Annals and Memoirs of the Court of Peking, p. 157; Hsi-ch'ung-hsien chih (1875) 11/5a.]

George A. Kennedy