Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/T'ung Kuo-wei

T'UNG Kuo-wei 佟國維, d. 1719, uncle of Emperor Shêng-tsu, was a son of T'ung T'u-lai [q. v.] and a member of the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner. The family belonged originally to the Chinese Plain Blue Banner, but was raised to the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner in 1688 on the request of T'ung Kuo-kang [q. v.], who was T'ung Kuo-wei's elder brother and inheritor of the family title of duke of the first class. During the K'ang-hsi period the two brothers were called Chiu-chiu 舅舅 (uncle on the mother's side) because their sister was the mother of Emperor Shêng-tsu.

T'ung Kuo-wei began his official career in 1660 as a senior Bodyguard in the Palace. Ten years later he was appointed a senior assistant chamberlain of the Imperial Bodyguard. Early in 1674, after the rebellion of Wu San-kuei [q. v.] in Yunnan had begun, a group of Wu's men plotted a riot in Peking. Hearing of their plan, T'ung Kuo-wei with the aid of thirty guards apprehended the ringleaders. In 1682 he was promoted to the rank of chamberlain of the Imperial Bodyguard and later became a member of the State Council. When his eldest daughter (who had become an imperial consort about 1677) fell seriously ill in the summer of 1689 she was unexpectedly raised to the rank of Empress in the hope that this recognition might prolong her life, but she died on the following day (August 24, see under Hung Shêng). She was canonized as Hsiao-i Jên Huang-hou 孝懿仁皇后; and T'ung Kuo-wei, as father of an Empress, was made a duke of the first class. A younger daughter (1668–1743) later also became an imperial consort. In 1690 T'ung Kuo-wei served under Fu-ch'üan [q. v.] at the battle of Ulan-butung against Galdan [q. v.], in which his brother T'ung Kuo-kang was killed. He accompanied the Emperor on both of the latter's expeditions against Galdan in 1696 and in 1697. In 1704 he and Mingju [q. v.] were authorized to supervise famine relief near Peking where a large number of people had gathered from famine-stricken districts of Shantung. Not long thereafter he retired on account of old age.

In 1708, after the heir-apparent, Yin-jêng [q. v.], had been imprisoned for the second time in six years, the Emperor asked the princes and high officials at Court to meet and recommend another of his sons in place of Yin-jêng. The choice was unanimously in favor of Yin-ssŭ [q. v.], the Emperor's eighth son who unfortunately, however, had recently incurred his father's displeasure. When the Emperor learned by inquiry that Maci, K'uei-hsü, Wang Hung-hsü [qq. v.], and T'ung Kuo-wei, as well as several of his sons, had influenced the decision in favor of Yin-ssŭ, T'ung Kuo-wei was severely rebuked but was not punished. However, his grandson, Sunggayan 舜安顏, who married Emperor Shêng-tsu's ninth daughter, Princess Wên-hsien (see under Empress Hsiao-kung), was deprived of his official rank. T'ung Kuo-wei died in 1719, but perhaps because of this episode Emperor Shêng-tsu did not grant him a posthumous name, delaying also in appointing a successor to his hereditary rank. After the death of Shêng-tsu in 1722 T'ung Kuo-wei's third son, Lungkodo [q. v.], successfully used his position as general commandant of the Gendarmerie of Peking to support the claims of Yin-chên [q. v.] to the throne. Grateful for this support, Yinchên permitted Lungkodo to succeed to his father's hereditary rank, and T'ung Kuo-wei was granted the posthumous name, Tuan-ch'un 端純. A temple to the honor of T'ung Kuo-wei's father, his brother, and himself was built outside the gate, Chao-yang-men 朝陽門, Peking, in 1724.

In 1727, after Lungkodo was condemned by Emperor Shih-tsung, the first class dukedom was inherited by T'ung Kuo-wei's sixth son, Ch'ing-fu 慶復 (T. 瑞園, H. 邵亭, d. 1749), who served as president of the Board of Revenue from 1733 to 1735. Late in 1735 he was given by Emperor Kao-tsung the rank of Ting-pien Ta Chiang-chün 定邊大將軍 to supervise the defenses in Mongolia against the Eleuths, but was recalled a year later after a truce was agreed upon. Thereafter he served as acting president of the Board of Punishments (1736–37), and as governor-general of Kiangnan and Kiangsi (1737), of Yunnan (1737–41), of Kwangtung and Kwangsi (1741–43) and of Szechwan and Shensi (1743–47). From 1744 to 1746 he was in charge of the armies in western Szechwan for suppressing rebellions of the aborigines, and after 1744 held the concurrent post of a Grand Secretary. In 1747, when the Chin-ch'uan aborigines rebelled, the command of the troops against the rebels was given to Chang Kuang-ssŭ [q. v.] and Ch'ing-fu was recalled to Peking. Early in 1748, after it was proved that a rebel leader, whom Ch'ing-fu had reported as dead, was not only alive but active, Ch'ing-fu was sentenced to die. In the following year he was ordered to commit suicide. The dukedom founded by T'ung Kuo-wei was abolished.


[1/293/1a; 1/303/5b; 2/11/13b; 3/281/1a; 34/138/29b; Mêng Sên, Ch'ing-ch'u san-ta-i-an k'ao-shih (see bibl. under Fu-lin) Part III; Shun-t'ien-fu chih (1886) 6/42a; Hsüeh-ch'iao shih-hua (see under Shêng-yü), supplement 3/77b.]

Fang Chao-ying