Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Wang Hsü-ling

WANG Hsü-ling 王頊齡 (T. 顓士, H. 瑁湖, 松喬老人), 1642–1725, official, was a native of Hua-t'ing, Kiangsu. His father, Wang Kuang-hsin 王廣心 (T. 農山, 伊人, d. 1691), was a chin-shih of 1648 who served as a censor. Wang Hsü-ling, the eldest of three sons, became a chin-shih in 1676. Three years later he passed the special examination known as po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ (see under P'êng Sun-yü) and was named a compiler of the Hanlin Academy, taking part in the compilation of the official history of the Ming Dynasty. He later served for more than a year as commissioner of education in Szechwan. In 1689, when he was serving in the capacity of an expositor in the Grand Secretariat, he was charged with bribery and cashiered (see under Kuo Hsiu and Wang Hung-hsü); but within a month he was specially pardoned and ordered to remain at his post. Thereafter he held the following offices: vice-director of the Imperial Clan Court (1700–03); a vice-president of the Board of Ceremonies (1703–12), and of the Board of Civil Office (1712–13); president of the Board of Works (1713–18); and a Grand Secretary (1718–25).

Wang Hsü-ling enjoyed the favor of both Emperors Shêng-tsu and Shih-tsung. The former honored him by twice (1705, 1707) visiting his garden, Hsiu-chia yüan 秀甲園, at Sungkiang, Kiangsu. Emperor Shih-tsung conferred various honors on him because of his services and in deference to his advanced age. After he died in office, aged eighty-four (sui), he was canonized as Wên-kung 文恭. His collected works are entitled 世恩堂集 Shih-ên t'ang chi, 32 chüan.

Wang Hsü-ling had five sons, of whom the eldest, Wang T'u-ping 王圖炳 (T. 麟照, H. 澂川, chin-shih of 1712, Hanlin compiler), served as a vice-president of the Board of Ceremonies (1730–31). A grandson of Wang Hsü-ling, named Wang Tsu-kêng 王祖庚 (d. 1765), became a chin-shih in 1727 and served as prefect of Ning-kuo-fu, Anhwei (1764–65). Three great-grandsons of Wang Hsü-ling became members of the Hanlin Academy: Wang Chia-tsêng 王嘉曾 (T. 漢儀, H. 寧叔, 史亭, chin-shih of 1766), Wang Shao-tsêng 王紹曾 (T. 衣聞, H. 蒪鄉, chin-shih of 1757, prefect of Ningpo), and Wang Hsien-tsêng 王顯曾 (T. 周謨, H. 文園, chin-shih of 1760, a censor).

Wang Hsü-ling had two younger brothers, Wang Chiu-ling 王九齡 (T. 子武, H. 薛澱, chin-shih of 1682, d. Jan. 1710), and Wang Hung-hsü [q. v.]. These two, like himself, were also members of the Hanlin Academy, and attained high offices. Wang Chiu-ling served as a vice-president of the Board of Civil Office (1704–08), and as president of the Censorate (Jan. 1708–10). His collected works, in 5 chüan, were entitled 艾納山房集 Ai-na shan-fang chi. He had a studio known as Yung-ssŭ t'ang 永思堂.


[1/273/9a; 3/12/21a; 3/58/25b; Lou-hsien chih (1786); Tz'ŭ-lin chi-lüeh (see under Shên T'ing-fang); Sungkiang fu-chih (1884) 72/42b.]

Tu Lien-chê