Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Lü Kung

Kung 呂宮 (T. 長音, 蒼忱, H. 金門), Sept. 28, 1603–1664, May 13, official, was a native of Wu-chin, Kiangnan. He emerged from the examination of 1647 with the rank of optimus or chuang-yüan, being the second scholar to receive that distinction in the Ch'ing dynasty. The first was Fu I-chien [q. v.] who obtained it in the preceding year. Appointed a first class compiler of the Hanlin Academy, he rose in 1653 to the rank of senior vice-president of the Board of Civil Office and early in the following year to be a Grand Secretary without having to adhere to the rule of seniority. After Ch'ên Ming-hsia [q. v.] was condemned to death in 1654 Lü Kung was accused, among other offenses, of being Ch'ên's confederate. He pleaded guilty, and asserting that he was weak and ill, asked to be retired. In the memorial which told of his illness he used language that was considered in bad taste, stirring up still more criticism on the part of the censors. Nevertheless, Emperor Shih-tsu, hoping perhaps to cultivate the good will of his subjects in South China, retained him in office until 1655, or nearly a year longer. Even then Lü was granted the additional title of Grand Guardian of the Heir Apparent before he was allowed to return home.

[1/244/5a; 2/5/40a; 3/3/30a; 4/4/23a.]

Fang Chao-ying