Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Jirgalang
JIRGALANG 濟爾哈朗, 1599–1655, June 11, was a member of the Imperial Family and the sixth son of Šurhaci [q. v.]. Brought up by his uncle, Nurhaci [q. v.]—his father having died when he was about twelve years old—he received the title of beile, and distinguished himself in an expedition to Mongolia led by Abatai [q. v.] in 1625. In 1627 he served under his brother, Amin [q. v.], in Korea and together with Yoto [q. v.] took the responsibility of concluding peace with the Korean king. He then proceeded with Manggûltai [q. v.] and others to Ning-yüan where he was wounded in a battle against the Chinese general, Man Kuei [q. v.]. In 1629 he was prominent in the Manchu offensive across the Great Wall into China proper, and in the following spring, until relieved by Amin, he shared with Sahaliyen [q. v.] the occupation of the captured city of Yung-p'ing. About 1630 he came to the control of the Bordered Blue Banner which had belonged to Amin. When the Six Ministries were instituted in 1631 he was given charge of the Board of Punishments, but continued his active military career, taking part in the battle of Ta-ling-ho and the punitive expedition against the Chahar Mongols. In 1633 he kept back a combined force of Chinese and Koreans at the mouth of the Yalu river, thus allowing K'ung Yu-tê and Kêng Chung-ming [qq. v.] to escape and join the Manchus. When the name Ta Ch'ing was assumed for the Manchu dynasty in 1636, Jirgalang was created a prince of the first degree (Ch'in-wang) with the designation Chêng (鄭親王) and with rights of perpetual inheritance. He was intrusted, in Abahai's [q. v.] absence, with the protection of the capital, Shêng-ching (Mukden).
From 1638 to 1643 Jirgalang was a prominent figure in the war, and in the latter year, upon the accession of the young Emperor Shih-tsu he was appointed co-regent with Dorgon [q. v.]. In 1647 he was removed from this post by Dorgon on the charge of having usurped imperial privileges, and in the following year was degraded for a month (on various charges) one degree in rank to a Chün-wang 郡王. Having received a commission as generalissimo to put down the rebellion in the southwest, he proceeded against the forces of the Ming Prince of Kuei (see under Chu Yu-lang) at Changsha, defeated them in a number of engagements, killed the general, Ho T'êng-chiao [q. v.], and returned in triumph at the beginning of 1650. After the death of Dorgon, Jirgalang and other princes took steps to discredit Dorgon's faction and transfer full control to Emperor Shih-tsung. He also attempted to have the emperor withdraw the princely titles with which Wu San-kuei [q. v.], Kêng Chung-ming and others had been invested, but was unsuccessful. After presenting his last memorial on the subject in 1655 he fell ill and died on the 11th of June. 1n 1671 he was given the posthumous name, Hsien 獻, and in 1778 was granted a place in the Imperial Ancestral Temple. His princedom was inherited by his second son, Jidu [q. v.], but the designation was altered to Chien (see under Jidu). In 1778 the original designation, Ch'êng, was restored to the princedom which continued to the close of the dynasty, except for a few years after 1861 (see under Su-shun).
[1/221/7a; 2/2/25b; 4/1/11b; 34/124/1a; Hauer, E., "Prinz Jirgalang" in Ostasiatische Zeitschrift, 1925, pp. 273–282; T'oung Pao, 1927–28, p. 279.]
George A. Kennedy