Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Hou T'ung-tsêng

HOU T'ung-tsêng 侯峒曾 (T. 豫瞻, H. 廣成), 1591–1645, Aug. 25, official and martyr to the Ming cause, was a native of Chia-ting, Kiangsu. A chin-shih of 1625, he served in various posts in Kiangsi and Chekiang and was commended as one of the five best local administrators in the empire. He was associated with the Fu-shê 復社, politico-literary party, of which his younger brother, Hou Ch'i-tsêng 侯𡸷曾, was a member. In 1644 he was appointed vice-governor of Peking but before he assumed office the city fell. When the Ming Prince of Fu (see Chu Yu-sung) assigned him a post he pleaded illness and retired to his native Chia-ting. At this time the turncoat general, Li Ch'êng-tung [q. v.], was stationed at Wusung and oppressing the people. The latter chose Hou T'ung-tsêng as their leader and prepared to hold Chia-ting against the government forces. Cooperating with Huang Ch'un-yüeh [q. v.], Hou defeated Li in two engagements, but on August 25, 1645, after the walls had been washed away by a flood, the Ch'ing forces entered the city and started the first of the three wholesale massacres of the district in that year, known as Chia-ting san-t'u 嘉定三屠. Hou Tung-tsêng threw himself into the pool behind the family ancestral hall, but before he was dead soldiers dragged him out, decapitated him, and exposed his head on the city wall.

The Ming Prince of T'ang (see Chu Yü-chien) gave him the posthumous rank of president of the Board of War; in 1722 the district built a hall in honor of him, his brother and his father; and in 1776 he was given the group name Chung-chieh 忠節. He left a commentary on the Classic of Changes, entitled 易解 I-chieh, 4 chüan, and a collection of prose (文集) in 40 chüan. His literary collection, entitled 仍貽堂集 Jêng-i t'ang chi 2 chüan, was printed in the collectanea, Ch'ien-k'un chêng-ch'i chi (see under Huang Tao-chou).


[M.277/15a; Chia-ting-hsien chih (1882) 17/6a, 2/25b; M.59/46/19a; 南疆逸史 Nan-chiang i-shih 25/1a; 嘉定縣乙酉紀事 Chia-ting-hsien i-yu chi-shih, in 痛史 T'ung-shih XI, 1a; 明季南略 Ming-chi nan-lüeh 9/15a.]

Earl Swisher