Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/T'ung Yang-hsing
T'UNG Yang-hsing 佟養性, d. 1632, Ch'ing general, was a native of Fu-shun, Liaotung. Some members of his family served as officials under the Ming regime, and one of his cousins, T'ung Yang-chên [q. v.], was a military officer. About the year 1616 T'ung Yang-hsing began to communicate secretly with Nurhaci [q. v.] who in that year proclaimed himself Khan of the Later Chin Kingdom (後金國). Before long, however, his treasonous activities were discovered by Ming officials who put him in prison. Escaping custody, he joined Nurhaci who made him a baron of the third class and gave him a princess for wife. For this act of treason his entire clan was persecuted; some members were executed, some were imprisoned, and others fled. In 1621 he took part in the Manchu occupation of Liaoyang and was rewarded by being made a viscount of the second class. In 1631 a corps of artillery with forty recently constructed cannon was formed and T'ung was placed in command. Meanwhile he was made the first commander of the newly created Chinese detachment. Later in the same year his artillery corps acquired fame while besieging Tsu Ta-shou [q. v.] at Ta-ling-ho. In 1632 he was rewarded for his ability in directing a military maneuver. He died in the same year. In 1656 he was given the posthumous name, Ch'in-hui 勤惠.
The Chinese detachment which T'ung Yang-hsing commanded in 1631 and 1632 was the nucleus from which the Eight Chinese Banners were formed as more and more Chinese were added to it. In 1633 the command was given to Ma Kuang-yüan 馬光遠 (posthumous name 誠順, d. 1663), who had joined the Manchus three years before. In 1637 this Chinese unit was divided into two wings, one commanded by Ma, the other by Shih T'ing-chu 石廷柱 (1599–1661, posthumous name 忠勇) who had joined the Manchus in 1622. In 1639 these two wings were further divided into four Banners, and in 1642 the Eight Chinese Banners were organized after the Manchu pattern. T'ung's descendants were assigned to the Chinese Plain Blue Banner.
A son of T'ung Yang-hsing, named Puhan 普漢, succeeded to the rank of viscount in 1634. In 1637 the rank was given to Puhan's younger brother, Liu-shih 六十, and in 1652 it was raised to an earldom of the third class. A son of Liu-shih, named T'ung Kuo-yao 佟國瑤 (d. 1689, posthumous name 忠慤), who succeeded to the earldom in 1660, took part for eight years (1674–82) in the war against Wu San-kuei [q. v.] and then served as Tartar General at Foochow (1682-89). In 1701, when T'ung Kuo-yao's grandson, Ch'i-fu 齊福 (or 七復) to succeeded to the hereditary rank, he was reduced to a second class viscount—the rank which had originally been given to T'ung Yang-hsing. The rank remained so in the family until the close of the dynasty.