Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Tu Li-tê

TU Li-tê 杜立德 (T. 純一, H. 敬修), 1611–1691, July 3, official, was a native of Pao-ti, Chihli. He became a chin-shih at the last Ming examinations in 1643. Two years later, through the recommendation of Sung Ch'üan [q. v.], he was appointed a censor in the new regime. In this capacity he submitted a memorial on good government (治平疏), in which the essentials were to respect Heaven (敬天), pattern after antiquity (法古), and love the people (愛人). In 1652 he became sub-director in the Court of Sacrificial Worship and in the following year vice-president of the Board of Works—later of the Board of War. He was one of sixteen alert officials chosen in 1654 to direct relief work following a flood in the Peking area, but in the autumn of the same year his father died and he retired to observe the mourning period. In 1657 he was made vice-president of the Board of Punishments, and two years later president of the same Board. While holding this post he was commended by Emperor Shih-tsu as an official who neither accepted a single cash unlawfully nor wrongfully put a man to death. With the accession of Emperor Shêng-tsu to the throne in 1661 he was transferred to the Board of Revenue, and in 1663 had conferred upon him the honorary title of Junior Guardian of the Heir Apparent. In the following year he was chief director of the metropolitan examination and was then transferred to the Board of Civil Office. In 1669 he became a Grand Secretary of the Kuo-shih yüan 國史院 and concurrently director of the compilation of the official chronicle (shih-lu) of Emperor Shih-tsu.

In 1671 the Kuo-shih yüan, Hung-wên (宏文) yüan, and Mi-shu (祕書) yüan—known as The Three Inner Yüan (內三院)—were consolidated into the Nei-ko 內閣 or Grand Secretariat. Tu Li-tê was then appointed Grand Secretary of the Pao-ho tien 保和殿, and concurrently president of the Board of Rites. When in the following year the official chronicle of Shih-tsu was completed, his honorary title was raised to that of Grand Tutor of the Heir Apparent. In 1673 he was again chief director of the metropolitan examination, the one in which Han T'an [q. v.] passed with the highest honors. In the same year Tu was appointed director of the revised official chronicle of Emperor T'ai-tsung. During the San-fan Rebellion (see under Wu San-kuei) he was one of the most trusted high officials in the central government. When, in 1676, he was unjustly involved in the episode of Hsiung Tz'ŭ-li [q. v.] and the mislabeled memorial, he asked leave to retire, but the request was denied. He finally retired in 1682 on the ground of illness. On the completion of the revised official chronicle of T'ai-tsung, early in the winter of the same year, he was given the title of Grand Preceptor of the Heir Apparent. He was canonized as Wên-tuan 文端. His younger brother, Tu Li-pên 杜立本, was prefect of Lu-chou, Anhwei; and his son, Tu Kung-chün 杜恭俊 (T. 承三, d. 1704?), was prefect of Kuang-hsin-fu, Kiangsi. The latter's son, Tu Yü-wên 杜遹文 (T. 紹衣, H. 若洲, 1695–1738), served as magistrate in several districts in Honan.


[1/256/2b; 3/2/14a; 4/7/16a; Pao-ti-hsien chih (1745) 11/42b; 17/79b, 101a.]

Tu Lien-chê