Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ubai

UBAI 吳(武)拜, d. 1665, age 70 (sui), belonged to the Gūwalgiya clan and was attached to the Plain White Banner. His father, Urikan 武理堪, was in the service of Nurhaci [q. v.] for many years as captain of one of the companies (niru) of Banner troops. He died in 1619 from wounds received in a battle with the Ming armies which had been sent by Yang Hao [q. v.]. Ubai, who had already attracted notice by his bravery, succeeded to the post. He took part in the capture of Shên-yang and Liao-yang in 1621, receiving as his reward one thousand prisoners. In 1626 Abahai [q. v.] made him one of the two assistant commanders of the Bordered White Banner. Although arrested in 1630 for being involved with Amin [q. v.] in the loss of four cities, he was freed in consideration of his past service and made a colonel of vanguard troops (gabsihiyan jalan i janggin). After six more years of constant fighting he was promoted to the command of the vanguard troops of four Banners (galsihiyan gala i amban), and given a position in the council of state.

Ubai served in all the important engagements of the next eight years. In 1645, a year after the establishment of the Manchu dynasty at Peking, he was made an assistant chamberlain of the Imperial Body guard and was given the rank of earl of the second class. Together with his brother, Subai 蘇拜, he was closely associated with the supporters of the regency of Dorgon [q. v.]. Dorgon died on the last day of the year 1650. During the funeral Dorgon 's elder brother, Ajige [q. v.], behaved in a suspicious manner, and was accused at a meeting of councilors on January 26, 1651, at which Ubai was present, of attempting to seize the regency. Ajige was arrested, imprisoned, and compelled to commit suicide later in the year. For his part in exposing the plot, Ubai received promotion to the rank of marquis of the third class. About a month later Bolhoi 博爾輝, the chief accuser of Ajige, was condemned to death on the charge of spreading malicious reports. Ubai and his brother were stripped of their ranks and suffered confiscation of all their property. Subai regained an official post shortly afterwards, but Ubai remained in disgrace until 1658 when Emperor Shih-tsu conferred on him the rank of viscount of the first class in memory of his distinguished military services. Ubai died in 1665 and was given the posthumous name Kuo-chuang 果壯. The most prominent of his sons was Langtan [q. v.] who succeeded to the hereditary title and the captaincy of the Banner company.

[1/236/1b; 3/262/9b; 11/6/46a; 34/156/3a; Tung-hua lu, Shun-chih period.]

George A. Kennedy