Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Liu Jui-fên

LIU Jui-fên 劉瑞芬 (T. 芝田), 1827–1892, Apr. 6, official and diplomat, was a native of Kuei-ch'ih, Anhwei, who assisted in 1862 in the suppression of the Taiping Rebellion, first under Tsêng Kuo-fan [q. v.] and then under Li Hung-chang [q. v.]. During the latter's campaign to save Shanghai he had special charge of the importation of ammunition from Western countries. In 1876 he became salt controller of the Liang-huai region and in the following year intendant of the Su-Sung-Tsai Circuit, Kiangsu. Serving first as judicial commissioner (1882) and then as financial commissioner (1883) of Kiangsi, he was made acting governor of the same province in 1884. In the following year he was appointed minister to England and Russia, and arrived at his post in London early in 1886. Believing that Russia was about to exploit the gold mines at Mo-ho, Heilungkiang, he advised his government to undertake the work, and the suggestion was carried out (1886). In 1887 his portfolio was broadened to include France, Italy and Belgium. When difficulties between Tibet and India arose in 1888, Liu made efforts to resist British military occupation by peaceful negotiation. His term of service as a diplomat having terminated, he returned to China in 1889, and was appointed governor of Kwangtung. Three years later (1892) he died at his post. His collected works were printed in 1893, under the title 養雲山莊全集 Yang-yün shan-chuang ch'üan-chi.

Liu Jui-fên had six sons. One of them, Liu Shih-hêng 劉世珩 (T. 聚卿, H. 蔥石, 1875–1926), a chu-jên of 1894, was a well-known bibliophile who printed the following collectanea: 玉海堂景宋元本叢書 Yü-hai t'ang ying Sung Yüan pên ts'ung-shu; 聚學軒叢書 Chü-hsüeh hsüan ts'ung-shu (1897–1903); 貴池先哲遺書 Kuei-ch'ih hsien-chê i-shu (1920); and 暖紅室彙刻傳奇 Nuan-hung shih hui-k'o cho'uan-ch'i. The last-mentioned is a collection of famous dramas, and works on dramatics.

[1/452/9a; 5/32/6b.]

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