Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Huang Fang-shih

HUANG Fang-shih 黃芳世 (T. 周士), d. 1678, general, was a native of P'ing-ho, Fukien. When his uncle, Huang Wu [q. v.], was in command of the troops at Chang-chou, Huang Fang-shih represented him at Court, received preferment, and for twelve years enjoyed the life of Peking. In 1675 when his cousin Huang Fang-tu [q. v.] was besieged at Chang-chou and appealed for relief, Huang Fang-shih asked permission to go. He was given the rank of brigade-general and joined his younger brother, Huang Fang-t'ai [q. v.], who was leading a relieving force from Canton. Traveling by forced marches and fighting their way, the two brothers were within 200 li of Chang-chou when they learned that the city had fallen and their clansmen had committed suicide. Huang Fang-shih retired to Hui-chou, east of Canton. Soon Kwangtung was also involved in revolt and his position became precarious; it was rumored that he had joined the rebels, and only the Emperor trusted him implicitly. Escaping from Hui-chou, Huang Fang-shih made his way to Peking. He succeeded to the dukedom of Hai-ch'êng (see under Huang Wu), was made Grand Guardian of the Heir Apparent, and given command over the marine forces of Fukien with headquarters at Chang-chou. He was heaped with princely gifts and honors which were extended posthumously to his relatives. In March and April of 1678 he carried on a vigorous campaign against the forces of Kêng Ching-chung [q. v.] with consistent success. When he became ill and retired to Hai-ch'êng and was criticised for inactivity, he made a last foray against the insurgents. His illness increased and, pleading for considerate treatment of military prisoners and succor for the harrassed people of Fukien, and asking that his brother, Huang Fang-t'ai, succeed to his title rather than his minor son. Huang Fangshih died in his military camp. He was given the posthumous name of Chung-hsiang 忠襄.

[See bibliography of Huang Wu.]

Earl Swisher