Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/T'ung T'u-lai

T'UNG T'u-lai 佟圖賴 (original name 佟盛年), d. 1658, age 53 (sui), general, was a native of Fu-shun, Liaotung. He inherited the minor hereditary rank of his father, T'ung Yang-chên [q. v.], who was killed in 1621. Ten years later he began to show military talent in the wars against the Ming forces, winning great distinction in various engagements. When the Chinese Banners were reorganized in 1642, after the Manchu pattern, he was appointed lieutenant-general of the Chinese Plain Blue Banner. In the same year he memorialized on the urgency of conquering Peking and its environs, and in the following year assisted Jirgalang [q. v.] in the capture of several forts northeast of Shanhaikwan. When the conquest of China began, in 1644, T'ung T'u-lai was made head of the Chinese Bordered White Banner and succeeded in pacifying many cities in Shantung and Shansi. Later in the same year he assisted Dodo [q. v.] in the conquest of South China. After Kiangnan and part of Chekiang were pacified he was made baron of the second class. Granted in 1648 the title "General who Subdues the South" (定南將軍), he led his men into Hunan where he won many battles against Ming troops. Upon his triumphant return in 1651, he was given a banquet by imperial decree, was transferred to the headship of the Chinese Plain Blue Banner, and was raised to the hereditary rank of viscount of the third class. He retired in 1656, died two years later, and was given posthumously the name Ch'in-hsiang 勤襄.

One of his daughters, who was later canonized as Hsiao-k'ang Chang Huang-hou (see under Hsüan-yeh), became an imperial secondary consort of Fu-lin [q. v.] and in 1654 gave birth to the latter's third son, Hsüan-yeh [q. v.], who later ruled China for sixty-one years under the reign-title, K'ang-hsi. Hsüan-yeh posthumously (1677) raised the rank of T'ung T'u-lai to duke of the first class, and confirmed the appointment of his eldest son, T'ung Kuo-kang [q. v.], as his successor. T'ung T'u-lai's second son, T'ung Kuo-wei [q. v.], was the father of one of Hsuanyeh's Empresses. In the late K'ang-hsi period most of the T'ungs secretly supported Yin-ssŭ [q. v.], eighth son of Emperor Shêng-tsu (see under Hsüan-yeh) as successor to the throne. But Lungkodo [q. v.], son of T'ung Kuo-wei, took a prominent share in supporting Emperor Shih-tsung (see under Yin-chên) who in return decreed, in 1724, that a temple should be erected to the honor of T'ung T'u-lai and his two sons. The family's residence in Peking is still known as the T'ung Fu 佟府, and is located on the street called Têng-shih-k'ou 燈市口. In recent years it has been occupied in part by the Yenching Woman's College and, later still, by the Bridgman Academy for Girls.


[1/173/2b; 1/241/9a; 2/4/4a; 3/42/17a; 4/5/3a; 順天府志 Shun-t'ien-fu chih (1886) 13/33a; China Review, vol. IX, 1880–81, pp. 167–68.]

Fang Chao-ying