Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ma Hsiung-chên

MA Hsiung-chên 馬䧺鎭 (T. 錫蕃, H. 坦公), 1634–1677, Nov. 6, official, was a native of Liaoyang, Fengtien. Although the family belonged to the Chinese Bordered Red Banner, his ancestors came originally from P'êng-lai, Shantung. His father, Ma Ming-p'ei 馬鳴珮 (T. 潤甫, 1600–1666), rose in his official career to the presidency of the Board of War, and to the military governorship of Kiangnan and Kiangsi, and took part in the suppression of the Southern Ming forces, including the Koxinga family of Formosa (see under Chêng Ch'êng-kung). In 1656 Ma Hsiung-chên was appointed an assistant administrator in the Board of Works, in charge of the Mint (寶源局) and of the imperial glazed-tile factory (琉璃窰) in the south city, Peking. After observing the period of mourning for his father he was, in 1667, made senior vice-president of the Censorate and in the following year a sub-chancellor of the Grand Secretariat. He was appointed governor of Shansi in 1669, but before he could set out for this post an edict was issued transferring him to the governorship of Kwangsi, a post which he assumed in the following year. Within a few months he put down bandits who had allied themselves with the Yao 猺 and T'ung 獞 tribesmen in the prefectures of Wu-chou 梧州 and P'ing-lo 平樂. He established schools, abolished burdensome taxes and duties, and lowered the price of salt—on the whole the condition of the province was improved under his administration. But by the end of the year 1673 Wu San-kuei [q. v.] rebelled, and early in the following year Sun Yen-ling [q. v.], Manchu general-in-chief of Kwangsi, espoused his cause.

Being a civil governor without military power, Ma Hsiung-chên was prevented from offering active resistance. He tried to commit suicide, but was thwarted. Unable conscientiously to join in the new regime, he was put in custody. On May 6, 1674 he secretly sent his eldest son, Ma Shih-chi 馬世濟 (T. 元愷, 1650–1714), to Peking to report the situation and to plead for help. Three months later he sent his second son, Ma Shih-yung 馬世永, his eldest grandson, Ma Kuo-chen 馬國楨 (T. 幹臣, H. 貞菴, 1666–1720), and some members of his staff, on the same mission. In consequence of this move his whole family was thrown into prison and he himself was confined to a separate cell where he remained for three years. While Sun Yen-ling was wavering between the new cause and a return to Manchu allegiance, Wu San-kuei (late in 1677) sent into Kwangsi a relative, Wu Shih-tsung 吳世琮, who had Sun murdered by stealth. Pressure was again brought to bear on Ma to coöperate with the new regime, but stubbornly refusing all offers, he was killed November 6, 1677—likewise all members of his family in Kwangsi and some of his staff. When the account of his heroic death was sent to the Court in Peking in the following year by Fu Hung-lieh 傅宏烈 (T. 仲謀, H. 竹君, d. 1680), then governor of Kwangsi, Ma Hsiungchên was posthumously (1680) given the title of Grand Guardian of the Heir Apparent and President of the Board of War, and was canonized as Wên-i 文毅. Hao Yü [q. v.], another governor of Kwangsi, petitioned in 1682 for permission to erect a temple, known as Shuang-chung miao 雙忠廟, to the memory of the two loyalists, Ma Hsiung-chên and Fu Hung-lieh, the latter having died for the same cause in 1680.

Ma Hsiung-chên's loyalty and incorruptibility became the theme of a drama by Chiang Shih-ch'üan [q. v.], entitled 桂林霜 Kuei-lin shuang. Ma's poems, entitled 撃笏樓遺稿 Chi-hu lou i-kao, composed during his imprisonment; and the literary works of his father, entitled 燕譽堂遺稿 Yen-yü t'ang i-kao; of his son, Ma Shih-chi, entitled 務本齋賸稿 Wu-pên chai shêng-kao; and of his grandson, Ma Kuo-chên, entitled 承恩堂賸稿 Ch'êng-ên t'ang shêng-kao, are all included in the 馬氏家譜 Ma-shih chia-p'u preserved in manuscript in the Library of Congress. Ma Shih-chi rose to the post of director-general of grain transport, and Ma Kuo-chên to intendant of the circuit of Chiang-ning-fu, Ch'ang-chou-fu, and Chên-chiang-fu in Kiangnan.


[1/258/3a; Ma-shih chia-p'u; 盛京通志 Shêng-ching t'ung-chih (1778) 86/16a; Haenisch, E., T'oung Pao, 1913, p. 89.]

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