Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Yin-chih

YIN-chih 胤祉, Mar. 23, 1677–1732, July 10, was the third son of Emperor Shêng-tsu. In 1693 he represented the Emperor at the ceremonies held to commemorate the completion of repairs on the Temple of Confucius at Ch'ü-fu, Shantung, and in performance of the rites at the tomb of the sage. In 1696 he accompanied the Emperor on the expedition against Galdan [q. v.] in Mongolia, being in charge of the troops of the Bordered Red Banner. Two years later he was made a prince of the second degree (Chün-wang) with the designation Ch'êng 誠, but in 1699 his rank was lowered one degree for cutting his hair during the mourning period for the death of a concubine of the Emperor. He seems, however, to have been one of the favorite sons of the Emperor who after the year 1707 visited Yin-chih's house and garden once or twice each year. Yin-chih was also on good terms with his half-brother, the one-time heirapparent, Yin-jêng [q. v.]. When the latter became insane (1708) Yin-chih reported that their eldest brother, Yin-t'i [禔, q.v], had employed a Lama sorceress to cast a spell on Yin-jêng. For this act Yin-t'i was imprisoned in his own courtyard where he died in 1734. In 1709 Yin-jêng was again made Heir Apparent and Yin-chih was raised to the rank of a prince of the first degree. About the same time Emperor Shêng-tsu appointed several learned Chinese as secretaries to Yin-chih, one of whom, Ch'ên Mêng-lei [q. v.], with the help of Yin-chih, edited the great encyclopaedia, Ku-chin t'u-shu chi-ch'êng. It is reported that these secretaries likewise drafted the Lü-li yüan-yüan (see under Ho Kuo-tsung).

In the struggle of the princes for the throne Yin-chih was one of the opponents of Yin-chên [q. v.] who obtained the throne in 1722. Early in 1723 the new Emperor ordered the confiscation of the Ku-chin t'u-shu chi-ch'êng and banishment of the editor. In the printed copy all references to the original editor or to Yinchih's connection with the work were omitted. Only in the Lü-li yüan-yüan is Yin-chih's name mentioned as one of the two princes in charge, the other prince being the Emperor's favorite brother, Yin-lu [q. v.]. The jealous Emperor further persecuted Yin-chih by ordering him in 1723 to guard the tomb of their father, thus removing him for a time from Peking. In 1728 Yin-chih was found guilty of display of temper when questioned in court on a charge of bribery, and for this was degraded one degree in rank; his third son, Hung-shêng 弘晟, was put in chains and imprisoned. Although Yin-chih had been for a time, in 1730, reinstated in his rank as Ch'in-wang, he lost it in the same year when he was accused of eight "misdemeanors" of which the following are examples: association with Ch'ên Mêng-lei, ingratitude to the Emperor, intimacy with the Emperor's enemies, and unfilial conduct toward their father. He was imprisoned, the immediate reason perhaps being his failure to express grief at the death of Yin-hsiang [q. v.] who, in the matter of succession, had taken sides with the Emperor. He was confined in the Ching-shan enclosure and there he died. In 1737 his nephew, the succeeding Emperor, Kao-tsung, gave him the posthumous name, Yin 隱. Only his seventh son, Hungching 弘景 (d. 1777), was permitted to hold a minor hereditary rank. One holder of the rank, a descendant of Yin-chih in the sixth generation, named Tsai-ling 載齡 (T. 鶴峯, posthumous name 文恪, d. 1883), served as a Grand Secretary in the years 1877–80.

[The above-mentioned Temple of Confucius at Ch'ü-fu was restored in the years 1500–04, after a disastrous fire. As stated in the biography of K'ung Shang-jên [q. v.], it was visited by Emperor Shêng-tsu in 1684. At that time it was in a dilapidated condition, and in 1690 repairs were ordered to be made. Several structures were razed by fire in 1724 and the present buildings are mostly those restored in 1730. A few smaller ones are said to date from the Yuan dynasty].


[1/226/6a; 1/446/1b; T'ieh-pao [q. v.], Hsi-ch'ao va-sung chi 1/12a; Tung-hua lu, Yung-chêng 6:6, 8:5; Ku-kung tien-pên-shu-k'u hsien-ts'un-mu (see bibl. under Ch'ên Mêng-lei) lei-shu 1a, i-hstang 1a; Ch'ing Huang-shih ssŭ-p'u (see under Fu-lung-an) 3/13a; Bulletin of the Society for Research in Chinese Architecture (in Chinese) vol. 6, no. 1 (Sept. 1935) pp. 10–12.]

Fang Chao-ying