In this imperial chronology, each year is listed according to the Chinese lunar calendar with traditional notations for each year (e.g., jiashen) followed by the internationally recognized Gregorian calendar year (e.g., 1644) that approximately corresponds to the given lunar year. Information on the imperial reign is listed with each calendar year. Specific events are listed after a title denoting the lunar month (e.g., 1st Month) in which they occurred.
Ages of historical figures are given as traditionally calculated by the Chinese lunar calendar. This traditional way of counting a person's age uses the word sui (year of age). The word conveys how many lunar years—even if only for a few days or months—an individual has experienced in life.
Chinese names are shown in the conventional Chinese order with the surname (family name) followed by the given name. When possible, Manchu names are rendered according to the Möllendorff system of transliteration (Romanization). If the original Manchu name is unknown, the name is shown with a hyphenated version of the transliterated Chinese name. Some Jurchen and Manchu figures are more commonly known by their Chinese names; in those cases, the Chinese name is used. Official titles and imperial institutions are rendered according to Charles O. Hucker's A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China (Stanford, 1985) when possible.
The Reign of the Shunzhi Emperor (approx. 1644-1661)
Guiwei Year (approx. 1643)
Latter Jin Dynasty (Qing Dynasty): Chongde Reign, 8th Year
Ming Dynasty: Chongzhen Reign, 16th Year
Hong Taiji falls ill and commands high nobles and officials—ranging from regional princes (namely, the highest ranked imperial sons) to vice commanders-in-chief of the Eight Banners—to sacrifice at the shamanic shrine.
Hong Taiji dies free of disease on his bed in the Palace of Pure Tranquility (Qingning gong). Daišan, the Prince of Li along with the host of princes and civil and martial officials convene and decide to crown the ninth imperial son, Fulin, as his successor. With Jirgalang, the Prince of Zheng and Dorgon, the Prince of Rui assisting with court affairs, the next year is established as the first year of the Shunzhi reign. Fulin ascends the throne as the Shunzhi Emperor in the Hall of Eminent Authority (Dazheng dian).
Hong Taiji is buried at the Zhao Tomb in Shengjing (present-day Shenyang).
Hong Taiji is given his honorific posthumous titles and his temple name, Taizong (lit. "Great Ancestor").
Jiashen Year (approx. 1644)
Shunzhi Reign, 1st Year
The Shunzhi Emperor receives congratulations in the Hall of Great Administration (Dazheng dian, also known as the Hall of Honest Reverence, Dugong dian). The Prince of Li, Daišan, is ordered to refrain from attending the ceremony. The Prince of Zheng, Jirgalang, informs all of the officials to report to the Prince of Rui, and he considers himself as second to the Prince of Rui.
Lady Borjigit, the great consort (tai fei), is buried at Fuling. The late Lady Fuca, the wife of Nurhaci who was ordered to commit suicide, is buried outside the mausoleum complex.
Grand Secretary Hife of the Hešeri clan and other scholars compile The History of the Liao, The History of the Jin, and The History of the Yuan.
Li Zicheng attacks Beijing. The Chongzhen Emperor of the Ming hangs himself.
Banner Commander (Manchu: gūsai ejen) He-luo-hui accuses the Prince of Su, Hooge, of lawlessness and demands that he be demoted as a commoner. Abatai, the Abundant Prince (Manchu, doroi bayan beile, a prince of the blood of the third degree), is granted the advanced title of abundant commandery prince (junwang, prince of the blood of the second degree). Grand Secretary Fan Wencheng instructs the Prince of Rui, Dorgon, to subdue China proper. He begins the army’s southern campaign with sacrifices to the deceased progenitors Nurhaci and Hong Taiji during an ancestral worship ceremony. The Shunzhi Emperor names Dorgon as acting general-in-chief and issues him an imperial seal for expediency.
Li Zicheng pronounces himself as emperor and his Great Shun army burns down the Ming palace halls upon and withdraws from Beijing. The Manchu army defeats Li Zicheng’s army—led by Tang Tong—in the Battle at Yipianshi (near the Shanhai Pass) and eliminate the major obstacles to the Manchu conquest of the territory south of the Great Wall. The Ming commander Wu Sangui surrenders to the Manchu victors and is enfeoffed as the Prince Pacifier of the West (Pingxi wang).
Dorgon leads the army to Yanjing (present-day Beijing). The grand host of Ming civil and military officials of all ranks and commoners of all sectors of society welcome the Manchu army into the city. Dorgon enters the imperial city and begins administrative operations in the Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian), which was spared from the disastrous fires. He commands all officials, military officers, and commoners to commence the imperial mourning rites for the deceased Ming emperor. He commands the ministers and officials in the Grand Secretariat, Ministries, and Censorate to maintain their posts and work in conjunction with the Manchu system. The following imperial consorts are buried according to protocol: Lady Zhou, a consort, Empress Zhuanglie; Lady Yuan; Lady Zhang, Empress Xizong; and Lady Liu, the consort of the Wanli Emperor (Shenzong). The Prince of Fu (Ming), Zhu Yousong, relocates to the Jiangnan region and establishes his insurgent reign as the Hongguang Emperor (r. 1644-1645) of the Southern Ming dynasty. He names Shi Kefa as his grand secretary and establishes his base at Yangzhou.
Dorgon and the imperial princes, noble princes, and ministers decide to relocate the capital to Yanjing (present-day Beijing). Bulwark Duke Tun-qi-ka, Hoto, Banner Commander He-luo-hui embark for Shengjing (present-day Shenyang) to receive the imperial entourage. The memorial tablet (shenzhu) of the Hongwu Emperor (Ming) is moved to the Temple of Rulers of Successive Dynasties. Dorgon demands that all official seals should be inscribed with Manchu scripts alongside the original scripts.
The calendric system is established using the Temporal Model Calendar (Shixian li). On the occasion of the capital’s relocation, sacrifices are made to Heaven and at the mausoleums of deceased emperors. Due to military urgency, Dorgon orders officials to temporarily don Ming attire.
Former Ming official posts associated with the Chang Tomb and the other imperial mausolseums are established. In an official letter, Dorgon calls upon Shi Kefa to persuade the Southern Ming emperor to surrender. Shi Kefa ardently refuses. The reconstruction of the Hall of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing gong) begins.
The Shunzhi Emperor and his entourage arrive at Guangning. He grants imperial sacrificial land to the families charged with guarding the thirteen imperial mausoleums and prohibits the gathering of firewood and the grazing of flocks.
An imperial shamanic shrine (Manchu tangse, Chinese tangzi) is built southeast of the Forbidden City. The Shunzhi Emperor arrives at Tongzhou to the east of the capital city. Dorgon leads the imperial princes, noble princes, and civil and military ministers to receive the emperor. The Shunzhi Emperor enters the palace through the Gate of the Midday Sun (Zhengyang men, which is also known as the Front Gate or Qian men). Musical arrangements used at national sacrificial ceremonies are initially established. The memorial tablets of Nurhaci, Empress Xiaoci, and Hong Taiji are placed in the Imperial Ancestral Temple (Tai miao).
The Shunzhi Emperor personally conducts sacrifices to Heaven and Earth at the Temple of Heaven in the southern outskirts of the city. He dispatches officials to make sacrifices at the Imperial Ancestral Temple and Altar of Land and Grain. Due to the unrivaled merits of Dorgon, the Prince of Rui, the emperor orders the Ministry of Rites to erect a stele in his honor. Hong Taiji is given his posthumous title and sacrifices are conducted at the Temple of Heaven and Altar of Land and Grain.
The Shunzhi Emperor holds his ascension ceremony at the Gate of Imperial Supremacy (Huangji men, later called the Gate of Supreme Harmony, Taihe men). His reign is decreed throughout the empire, and a magnanimous amnesty is granted to all. Dorgon, the enfeoffed Prince of Rui, is promoted as the uncle regent prince. Jirgalang, the enfeoffed Prince of Zheng, is named the loyal bulwark prince. Commandery Prince Ajige is named as the enfeoffed Prince of Ying. Commandery Prince Dodo is promoted as the enfeoffed Prince of Yu. Hooge is reinstated as the enfeoffed Prince of Su.
The annual monetary allotments of imperial princes and noble princes are set. Regulations for residence and attire are determined for the regent prince, imperial princes, and noble princes. The organization of the imperial retinue is determined. The shamanic rituals in the Palace of Earthly Tranquility (Kunning gong) are established after those in the Palace of Pure Tranquility (Qingning gong) in Shengjing (present-day Shenyang). Musical arrangements for court audiences are established. Ceremonies for the congratulatory feast with the host of ministers are established. Eunuchs are prohibited from attending.
The Manchu director of studies and instructors are appointed for the Directorate of Education. Sons and grandsons of officials with the desire to study the Manchu language and the Han Chinese language do so at the Directorate of Education. The caretakers of the Ming dynasty Ding Tomb are dismissed. Two eunuchs are stationed at the remaining twelve mausoleums to make seasonal offerings. The emperor presides over his first sacrifice to Heaven at the Round Mound Altar.
Items from the Ming imperial treasury are distributed as gifts among the generals and soldiers of the Manchu Eight Banners and Mongolian officials. Hong Taiji’s sixth daughter—an imperial Manchu princess—is married to Kua-zha, the son of the Banner Commander Ašan.
After the victories beyond the Shanhai Pass, He-luo-hui and Gong-a-dai are sent separately to make offerings at the Fu Tomb and Zhao Tomb.
The case of the imposter Ming prince leads to the death of fifteen of the people involved.
The first large-scale “land enclosure” (quandi or quanzhan, a practiced that entailed the eviction of farmers and bestowal of the land to military officers and other officials) is conducted after entering the Shanhai Pass.
Yiyou Year (approx. 1645)
Shunzhi Reign, 2nd Year
The Abundant Prince, Abatai, is ordered to serve as commander-in-chief and replace Hooge in the conquest of Shandong. Hong Taiji’s seventh daughter—an imperial Manchu princess—is married to La-ma-si, the son of Grand Minister E-qi-er-sang. Fangshan County is ordered to offer livestock for sacrifices at the mausoleums of the emperors Taizu and Taizong of the Jurchen Jin dynasty.
The compilation of the Legal Codex of the Qing Dynasty (Lüli) begins. Dodo, the Prince of Yu, is commanded to lead troops to the Jiangnan region.
Ajige, the Prince of Ying, leads a punitive expedition against Li Zicheng.
Sacrifices for Taizu, the founding emperor of the Liao dynasty; Shizong, emperor of the Jurchen Jin dynasty; and the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty are initiated. Appointments are determined for which grand ministers will co-preside over the sacrifices.
The eunuch Wang Cheng’en, who committed suicide with the Chongzhen Emperor, is buried near the Ming imperial mausoleum in a sacrificial plot of land with a memorial stele.
Dodo, the Prince of Yu, reaches Yangzhou with the troops under his command.
Shi Kefa of the Southern Ming dynasty is ordered to surrender. He refuses and is killed. The Qing army massacres the city’s populace for ten days. (Historians know this massacre as the “Ten Days at Yangzhou”.)
Hong Taiji’s eighth daughter—an imperial Manchu princess—is married to Ba-ya-si-hu-lang, son of the Khorchin Mongol prince Ba-da-li.
The triennial official provincial-level military test is conducted for the first time.
Grand Secretaries Feng Quan, Hong Chengchou, Li Jiantai, Fan Wencheng, Gang-lin (of the Gūwalgiya clan), and Qi-chong-ge (of the Usu clan) of the Three Palace Academies compile the History of the Ming (Ming shi). By written command, all officials from princes on down are given allotments of ice.
Dodo reaches Nanjing. Zhu Yousong, the Ming Prince of Fu, and his grand secretary escape to Taiping.
Zhao Zhilong the Earl of Xi, Grand Secretary Wang Duo, and Minister of Rites Qian Qianyi surrender the city.
Manchu boys are ordered to study. They are to undergo examinations at the Directorate of Education on the first day of the tenth lunar month.
Every five days during the spring and fall are allotted for archery exercises.
Formalities concerning the uncle regent prince are established. All related documents are to read “Imperial Uncle Regent Prince”.
The Empress Tax is terminated. The Rice and Grain Office (Mimai yuan) at the Chongwen Gate (lit. "Revering Civility Gate") is abolished.
The victory in the Jiangnan region is declared throughout the empire. The reconstruction of the Hall of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing gong) is completed. Renovations of the three grand halls of the Forbidden City commence.
The Hair-Shaving Order (also known as the Queue Order) is decreed and strictly enforced among the Han Chinese and certain vassal minority tribes.
The consort dowager dies.
The imperial court issues the following edict, “The original intention of the rise of the Qing Army was not to overtake this land but to maintain peaceful relations with the Ming Empire. Due to the rise of Li Zicheng’s army, the Ming throne has been vanquished. The Qing Army has led the Manchu people beyond the Shanhai Pass and abolished all animosity caused by Ming rule…" (This edict was intended to settle anti-Manchu sentiments among Han peoples. Moreover, in order to attract Han scholars, provincial examinations were scheduled in the Jiangnan region during the tenth month.)
An honorary title for Confucius is proclaimed noting his status as the foremost and most-eminent sage. Dorgon personally pays homage at the Confucian Temple.
6th Month (Intercalary):
Li Zicheng flees to Mount Jiugong in Hubei Province and hangs himself.
Insignia is determined for the headwear of all officials from ministers and princes on down, government students, and esteemed elders.
Strict prohibitions are decreed against directly accusations against officials and sectarian strife.
Rankings for Manchu civil and martial officials are established.
Insignia is determined for the headwear of various princes and noblemen.
The Ming dynasty Prince of Tang, Zhu Yujian, establishes his reign of resistance as the Longwu Emperor in Fujian. The Ming dynasty Prince of Lu, Zhu Yihai, establishes an regent regime of resistance in Shaoxing.
Offerings are presented at the Imperial Ancestral Temple. Records consisting of bundled tablets of jade inscribed with the honorific, posthumous names of Nurhaci, Empress Xiaoci, and Hong Taiji and their respective jade seals are placed in the Imperial Ancestral Temple. Four eunuchs are selected as caretakers of the mausoleum of the Ming dynasty’s founding emperor (Taizu), and 2,000 qing (1 qing represents approx. 6.7 hectares) of land is allocated for the mausoleum area.
Troops and commoners throughout the empire are forbidden to disobey the official regulations for dress and headwear.
The Qing army reaches Jiading (north of present-day Shanghai) and carry out three large-scale massacres. (Historians later call these massacres the “Three Massacres of Jiading”.)
Ajige, the Prince of Ying, is demoted back down to the rank of commandery prince due to particular infractions when dispatching troops. Oboi and others receive various punishments based on their respective infractions.
Dodo, the Prince of Yu, returns victoriously from battle. The Shunzhi Emperor personally receives him with adulation and rewards in the South Garden (Nan yuan) in recognition of his service.
Hong Taiji’s second daughter—an imperial Manchu princess—is married to Abunai, the son of the khan of the Chahars. Dodo is granted “Virtuous” as an additional title.
Statues concerning court ceremonies are revised. Eunuchs are banned from participating in court affairs.
Bingxu Year (approx. 1646)
Shunzhi Reign, 3rd Year
Hooge, the Prince of Su, is named as the General-in-chief of Pacifying Distant Regions (jingyuan dajiangjun) and leads troops on a western campaign to conquer Sichuan.
Revisions are made to regulations regarding officials’ salaries. The highest-ranked regent prince is to receive 2,000 taels of silver, and the lowest ranked soldier in the Cavalry Brigade is to receive 30 taels of silver.
Zheng Chenggong leads a revolt against the Qing in Fujian.
Provincial governors in the Jiangnan region are discharged. One Manchu and one Han vice-minister from the Ministry of Revenue, Ministry of War, and Ministry of Works are stationed in Jiangning (present-day Nanjing) to conduct official ministerial duties.
The translation of The Precious Instructions of the Hongwu Emperor (Hongwu baoxun) from Han Chinese to Manchu is completed.
Fu Yijian and other metropolitan graduates receive different official designations. The Abundant Commandery Prince, Abatai, dies.
Regent Prince Dorgon instructs all princes and ministers to stop submitting memorials (called qiben).
Repairs are made on the Confucian Temple in Shengjing (present-day Shenyang).
Dorgon, the Prince of Rui, stores official imperial seals and other official accoutrements in his personal residence for bureaucratic convenience.
Prohibitions against the flight of slaves are reiterated in fugitive laws.
Dodo, the Virtuous Prince of Yu, victoriously returns from battle. The emperor greets and rewards him in the outskirts of the capital city.
Repairs on the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe dian) and the Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghe dian) are complete.
Formalities for civil and military officials upon receiving or bidding farewell to the emperor are established.
Zhu Yu, the Prince of Tang (Ming dynasty), establishes his Shaoxing reign in Guangzhou.
Zhu Youlang, the Prince of Gui (Ming dynasty), establishes his Yongli reign in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province.
Repairs on the Palace of Proper Cultivation (Weiyu gong, another name for the Hall of Preserving Harmony, or Baohe dian) are completed.
Etiquette is established for when princes enter the court and alight from sedans and seating arrangements at court.
While at sea, Zheng Chenggong rallies troops to rebel against the Qing dynasty.
Dinghai Year (approx. 1647)
Shunzhi Reign, 4th Year
Jirgalang, the Prince of Zheng, illicitly ornaments his personal residence with unauthorized bronze lions and cranes. For this infraction, he is fined 2,000 taels of silver.
Regulations for the sons (born of primary wives) of noble princes are established. Their annual monetary allocations are set according to those of commandery princes, and their ceremonial rites are modeled after imperial princes.
Lü Gong and other metropolitan graduates with honors are designated with varied official occupations. In the capital, third-rank officials on up, including supervisors (du, ti), provincial governors (fu), and regional commanders (zhen, or zongbing) are required to send one son to serve in the imperial guard. Officials without sons are required to send a younger brother or nephew in place of a son.
Orders are issued to maintain the practice of offering raw meat at imperial sacrifices.
The Legal Codex for the Qing Dynasty (Daqing lü) is completed.
The practice of “enclosing” (called quandi or quanzhan) land is abolished. (This practice entailed the eviction of farmers and bestowal of the land to military and other officials.)
Dodo, the Virtuous Prince of Yu, is granted the additional title of Uncle Regent. The Hall of Archery (She dian or Jian ting) is built outside the Left-wing Gate (Zuoyi men, located on the east side of the court in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, Taihe dian).
Dorgon relieves Jirgalang, the Prince of Zheng, from his post at court. He only allows Dodo, the Prince of Yu, to participate in court affairs.
The Shunzhi Emperor travels to the borderlands to conduct military inspections.
The rankings of members in the imperial procession guard (luanyi wei) are revised. Each official is reduced in rank by one level.
The Ministry of Rites announces a newly established dress code.
The etiquette requiring regent princes to kneel before the emperor is abolished.
This year, territory around the capital is “enclosed” (called quandi or quanzhan, a practice that entailed the eviction of farmers and bestowal of the land to military and other officials.)
Wuzi Year (approx. 1648)
Shunzhi Reign, 5th Year
Commandery Prince of Amplified Joy Luo-luo-hong dies in battle. Hooge, the Prince of Su, returns victoriously, yet mournfully, with the army. The palace court adjourns for three days of mourning.
Jirgalang, the Prince of Zheng, is demoted to the rank of commandery prince due to certain crimes. Hooge, the Prince of Su, is charged with crimes deserving the death penalty. The Shunzhi Emperor pardons him and orders house arrest. A basis is sought for him to die of rage in his place of imprisonment.
4th Month (Intercalary):
Jirgalang is reinstated as the enfeoffed Prince of Zheng.
The Imperial Ancestral Temple (Tai miao) is completed.
Initial Han ministers for each of the Six Ministries are appointed. The left censors-in-chief (one Manchu and one Han) are appointed for the Censorate. The amount of gold articles used by imperial princes, noble princes, princesses, and imperial clanswomen is determined.
Manchu and Han officials and commoners are permitted to intermarry.
Sacrifices to Heaven are conducted at the Round Mound Altar. Additional offerings are presented in honor of the late Nurhaci. The four preceding ancestors before Nurhaci are honored as emperors. Honorific documents regarding their imperial assumption and associated imperial seals are placed in the Imperial Ancestral Temple (Tai miao).
Jichou Year (approx. 1649)
Shunzhi Reign, 6th Year
Official rankings for the Three Palace Academies are established.
Dodo, the Regent Prince of Yu, dies. Regent Prince Dorgon, who is at the Juyong Pass conducting military affairs, returns to the capital to mourn.
The empress dowager, née Borjigit (the empress of Hong Taiji), dies.
Ajige, the Prince of Ying, vies for power with Regent Prince Dorgon for the title of Uncle Prince. He accuses Dorgon of crimes of presumptive arrogance and impeding ministerial operations.
Dorgon’s primary wife dies. He orders officers from company commanders on up from two Banners and their wives to don white mourning garb. He also orders officers from company commanders on up from six of the Eight Banners to remove the tassels from their headwear.
Gengyin Year (approx. 1650)
Shunzhi Reign, 7th Year
Dorgon marries the wife of Hooge, the Prince of Su.
The empress dowager, née Borjigit, is given her posthumous honorific title and buried at the Zhao Tomb in Shengjing (present-day Shenyang) with Hong Taiji.
Dorgon personally receives a Joseon Korean princess at Mount Lian (Lianshan in present-day Liaoning Province) and takes her hand in marriage.
The Shunzhi Emperor personally visits Dorgon’s private residence.
Regent Prince Dorgon falls ill and undertakes a hunting expedition in the borderlands.
On the ninth day of the month, Regent Prince Dorgon dies in Kharahotun (near present-day Chengde, Hebei Province). The Shunzhi Emperor personally presides over burial rites in the outskirts of the capital. Officials and commoners don mourning garb. The official imperial seals and accoutrements for official documentation are gathered and placed back in the imperial treasury. Dorgon is posthumously honored with the imperial title Chengzong (lit. “Consummate Ancestor”).
Ajige, the Prince of Ying, is charged with crimes.
The Shunzhi Emperor begins to personally administrate imperial affairs and rule the empire.
Xinmao Year (approx. 1651)
Shunzhi Reign, 8th Year
Ajige, the Prince of Ying, is placed under house arrest for treasonous plots.
On the tenth day, the Ministry of Rites conducts ceremonies to mark the beginning of the Shunzhi Emperor’s personal administration of the empire. On the twelfth day, the Shunzhi Emperor formally begins to personally administer his dominion from the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe dian).
On the seventeenth day, the daughter of Wu-ke-shan—the Prince of Zhuo-li-ke-tu—is betrothed to the emperor. The grand wedding is planned for the following month. Wu-ke-shan plans to send his daughter to the capital; the emperor prohibits this action.
At the Linqing kilns (in today’s Shandong province), the production of bricks for palace use is halted.
Dorgon is posthumously honored as an emperor, and his memorial plaque is placed in the Qing Imperial Ancestral Temple.
The Three Palace Academies are relocated to inside the Forbidden City.
On the twenty-third day, the dress code for the empress dowager, the empress, and concubines is established.
The deceased empress dowager is given her posthumous honorific title.
For the first time Suksaha, Jandai, and Mucilun accuse the deceased Regent Prince Dorgon of defying the rites. Dorgon’s residence is searched, and his property is confiscated. His supporters are investigated and imprisoned. His mother and wife are stripped of their posthumous honorific titles, and his memorial plaque is removed from the Imperial Ancestral Temple.
2nd Month (Intercalary):
The imprisoned Ajige is relocated to another chamber. His residence is searched, and his property is confiscated.
Supporters of Dorgon, including Gang-lin and Qi-chong-ge, are charged with crimes.
Various princes and noble princes are commanded to administer the Six Ministries, the Court of Colonial Affairs, and the Censorate.
Protocol is established for princes and dukes at court audiences. Protocol is determined for periods of fasting and abstinence.
The sons of Manchus, Mongols, and soldiers of Han ancestry are allowed to participate in civil service recruitment examinations. Those receiving a top-level grade are to be granted official rank.
Officials are sent throughout the empire to sacrifice at revered sites on mountains, on the shores of seas, and on the banks of rivers (yuezhen haidu); imperial mausoleums; and Confucian temples.
The lunar new year, the winter solstice, and the emperor’s birthday are established as three important festivals; the ceremonies for each of these three days are established.
Etiquette for sacrificial assistants, retinues, welcomes, farewells, and inspection tours of princes and ministers is established. Incense and seals are additionally manufactured for imperial travels. Seals for the entourage are crafted with the characters xingzai, which indicate the emperor's temporary residence while traveling.
Sacrificial ceremonies are established for mausoleums, altars, and temples.
The emperor orders for regular sacrifices to be conducted at the mausoleum of the Wanli Emperor (r. 1573-1620) of the Ming as practiced at the other twelve Ming mausoleums around the capital. Tomb caretakers are stationed at the former emperor’s mausoleum. The emperor orders that Qing ancestral mausoleums be repaired. Caretakers are stationed at the mausoleums, and sacrificial rites are established. Rites for sacrifices to the sun and moon are resumed. Ceremonies for the grand wedding of the emperor wedding his empress are established. The organization of the empress' retinue is established.
Provincial examinations for Shuntian Prefecture (the capital area) are established. Manchu and Mongol candidates are included in one category, and Han soldiers and Han candidates are included in another. The metropolitan examination and palace examination follow this procedure.
On the wuwu day, Lady Borjigit—the daughter of the Khorchin Mongol Wu-ke-shan, the Prince of Zhuo-li-ke-tu—is named empress.
Etiquette is established for court audiences.
The Gate of Heavenly Succession (Chengtian men) is retitled as the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tian’an men).
The Temple of the Sun is built outside the Gate of the Rising Sun (Chaoyang men) on the east side of the city.
The Temple of the Moon is built outside the Gate of Ample Accomplishment (Fucheng men) on the west side of the city.
Ajige is ordered to commit suicide.
The mountain where the mausoleums of the First Progenitor (Zhaozu) and the Rising Progenitor (Xingzu) are located is named the Mount of Inaugural Momentum (Qiyun shan). The mountain where the mausoleums of the Great Progenitor (Jingzu) and the Eminent Progenitor (Xianzu) are located is named the Mount of Accumulated Jubilation (Jiqing shan). The mountain where the Fu Tomb is located is the called the Heavenly Column Mountain (Tianzhu shan), and the mountain where the Zhao Tomb is located is named the Mountain of Grand Endeavor (Longye shan).
Renchen Year (approx. 1652)
Shunzhi Reign, 9th Year
The Six Edicts (Liu yu) regulating moral behavior is publically promulgated throughout the empire by way of stele inscriptions.
Jirgalang is given the additional title of Uncle Prince of Zheng.
Imperial princes and noble princes are relieved of their duties in the administration of ministerial affairs.
Manchu and Mongol passed-scholars (i.e., those who have passed the metropolitan examination), including Ma-le-ji, and Han passed-scholars, including Zou Zhongyi, are granted the title of metropolitan graduate (jinshi jidi) with their respective official designations.
Regulations regarding carriages, dress codes, and retinues for princes and all inferior officials are established.
According to the standards of the Ministry of Rites, three audiences are to be held each month. The Classics Colloquium (Jing yan) is to be held in the spring and autumn. Protocol is established for ordinary audiences.
Officials are appointed for the Court of the Imperial Clan (Zongren fu).
Official rankings for the Household Administration of the Heir Apparent are revised.
Etiquette is established for wedding-betrothal proposal-gifts for future empresses and concubines.
The title of the north gate of the imperial city is established as the Gate of Earthly Peace (Di’an men).
Marriage rituals for princes, dukes, and inferior imperial kinsmen are revised.
Sacrificial and funeral rites for princes and all inferior imperial kinsmen are revised.
The emperor participates in sacrifices to Confucius at the Directorate of Education.
Preliminary scheduling arranges for the emperor to personally receive the Dalai Lama outside the Great Wall.
Hong Taiji’s honored consort is honored as Honored Consort Yijing. His pure consort (shu fei) is honored as Pure Consort Kanghui.
The Shunzhi Emperor summons the Fifth Dalai Lama and receives him in the South Garden (Nan yuan) in the capital city.
Each banner (in the Eight Banners) organizes a School for the Imperial Family. All boys of the imperial clan who are ten years old and older and have not yet received noble appointments may attend the school.
Guisi Year (approx. 1653)
Shunzhi Reign, 10th Year
The practice of memorials to the throne being exclusively reported by Manchu officials is altered to include reports from Han officials. After this reform, Manchu and Han officials with the rank of vice-minister or chief-minister and higher ranks are required to jointly send memorials to the throne.
The yearly financial allotments are adjusted for commandery princes on down.
The Shunzhi Emperor reads The Comprehensive Mirror (Tongjian, 1084 CE, an historical record compiled by Sima Guang and others). The emperor then asks his ministers which of the dynastic rulers was the most exceptional. Chen Mingxia lauds Taizong, emperor of the Tang dynasty, while the Shunzhi Emperor believes that legal statutes established by Taizu, emperor of the Ming dynasty, will be preserved for all time.
The emperor shows his archery prowess on the Southern Terrace (Nan tai, later renamed Ying tai, the Ocean Terrace, which is part of a small palatial complex on an island in the Central and South Lakes complex or Zhongnan hai located to the west of the Forbidden City).
The emperor grants the title “The Teacher Who Comprehends Mysteries” (Tongxuan jiaoshi) to Johann Adam Schall von Bell (German Jesuit, Chinese name Tang Ruowang), minister of the Court of Imperial Sacrifices.
All departmental ministers are commanded to discontinue the use of holding tablets with green tops during their memorial reports to the throne.
The Shunzhi Emperor personally evaluates Hanlin Academy officials such as Cheng Kegong.
Chen Mingxia proposes controversial practices, including the wearing of Ming dynasty dress. He is eventually impeached and executed. Twenty-eight Han officials are reprimanded.
Šurhaci is posthumously named an enfeoffed prince. Ergun, Jiekan, Yarhaci, and Husai are named commandery princes (junwang, prince of the blood of the second degree).
Ta-cha-pian-gu and Murhaci are posthumously named princes (beile, prince of the blood of the third degree).
The Palace of Compassion and Tranquility (Cining gong) is completed.
Two Han grand secretaries are posted in each of the Three Palace Academies.
Thirteen Agencies (agency offices) are established.
Eunuchs are forbidden from intervening in governmental affairs and are permitted to hold ranks no higher than the fourth rank.
The empress dowager orders 80,000 taels of silver from the palace treasury to be used to aid flood victims.
Hong Taiji’s fourteenth daughter is married to Wu Yingxiong, the son of the Prince Pacifier of the West Wu Sangui.
On the fourteenth day, the emperor orders academicians to search dynastic histories for known examples of deposed empresses. On the twenty-sixth day, the Ministry of Rites is informed that the empress was chosen by Dorgon, the late Prince of Rui, and not personally selected by the emperor.
Therefore, the empress is demoted as Consort-in-ordinary Jing (lit. "Quiet"; an imperial concubine of the third rank, fei). On the twenty-seventh day, ministers present memorials to the throne insisting that the deposal of an empress is a matter that should be conducted only after prudent investigation.
Grand secretaries and chancellors are regulated to alternately serve inside the Gate of Supreme Harmony (Taihe men).
On the sixth day, the princes and ministers convene and decide that the empress should be selected from the daughters of officials ranking no lower than Manchu officials or non-official nobility, Mongol princes, or chief ministers.
This year, the rule is established that princes shall receive noble titles based on their behavior. The first son of an imperial prince is to be given the title “heir” and inherit his father’s title. The first son of a commandery prince is to be given the title “eldest son” and inherit his father’s title. The first son of a bulwark duke is to be given the same title as his father. The sons and grandsons of generals by grace (feng’en jiangjun, the lowest rank of nobility) are to maintain the title of their elders.
Jiawu Year (approx. 1654)
Shunzhi Reign, 11th Year
The official position titled Superintendent of Imperial Silk Manufacturing (zhizao, a position filled by a eunuch during the Ming dynasty) is abolished.
The emperor presides over the sacrifice to the sun at the altar outside the eastern wall of the city.
The Furrow Ceremony (gengji li) is first performed. This rite is to be fulfilled on the hai day of the second month of spring.
The emperor’s third son is born and named Xuanye (the future Kangxi Emperor).
Commandery Princes Ergun, Jie-kan, and Yarhaci accompany the emperor for sacrifices at the Imperial Ancestral Temple.
The empress dowager orders the abolishment of the old practice of having noble women alternately serve the empress and concubines.
Regulations are established for the pearl ornamentations on the headwear of the empress, consorts and concubines, princess-escorts, imperial princesses of the first degree and lower ranking women and the wives of bulwark dukes and higher ranking women.
The emperor spends time in the West Garden (Xi yuan, a complex of gardens to the west of the Forbidden City) where he holds a feast for high officials.
Lady Borjigit, the daughter of the Khorchin Mongol Defender Duke Chuo-er-ji, is appointed as empress.
The practice of educating sons of the imperial clan in Chinese classics is discontinued.
The organization of the imperial processional guard is arranged.
Šose, the Prince of Chengze, dies.
Yiwei Year (approx. 1655)
Shunzhi Reign, 12th Year
The Teachings of the Shunzhi Emperor (Shunzhi daxun) is compiled.
Reflections on Governance (Zizheng yaolan) is compiled, and the Shunzhi Emperor personally writes a preface.
Officials are sent to offer sacrifices to Heaven and Earth and make offerings at the Imperial Ancestral Temple in preparation for the renovation and reconstruction of the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing gong), Palace of Great Benevolence (Jingren gong), Palace of Celestial Favour (Chengqian gong), and Palace of Eternal Longevity (Yongshou gong).
An imperial edict calling for a greater emphasis on culture and education is announced throughout the empire.
Lecturers are appointed for the imperial Classics Colloquium.
Compilation projects are commissioned for The Venerated Teachings of Nurhaci and The Venerated Teachings of Hong Taiji.
Jirgalang, the Prince of Zheng, dies.
Boggodo, the son of Šose, is appointed as the enfeoffed Prince of Zhuang.
The imperial palace (called gongjin, which is a reference to the protected status of the imperial residence and court) is named the Forbidden City. The hill to the north of the palace is named Prospect Hill (Jing shan). The Southern Terrace (Nan tai, which is part of a small palatial complex on an island of the Central and South Lakes complex or Zhongnan hai located to the west of the Forbidden City) in the West Garden is named the Ocean Terrace (Ying tai).
Orders are made for iron placards inscribed with a prohibition against eunuchs interfering in governmental affairs to be posted in all of the Thirteen Agencies.
Qualified examinees of the military examinations are prescribed to undergo the Palace Examination as given to civil metropolitan graduates.
The compilation of The Jade Genealogy (Yu die, the imperial genealogy) is arranged.
Bingshen Year (approx. 1656)
Shunzhi Reign, 13th Year
The Comprehensive Mirror (Tongjian) and Elaborated Meanings of the Classic of Filial Piety (Xiaojing yanyi) are compiled.
The Shunzhi Emperor visits the Ocean Terrace for the first time.
5th Month (Intercalary):
Renovations and reconstructions of the following palaces are completed: the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing gong), Palace of Earthly Tranquility (Kunning gong), Palace of Union (Jiaotai dian), Palace of Great Benevolence (Jingren gong), Palace of Eternal Longevity (Yongshou gong), Palace of Celestial Favour (Chengqian gong), Palace of Accumulated Purity (Zhongcui gong), Palace of Gathered Elegance (Chuxiu gong), and Palace of Earthly Honor (Yikun gong).
Imperial orders are issued to ensure that Manchu bond servants and slaves (Chinese baoyi, Manchu booi, meaning “belonging to the family”) and their families are well-treated.
Bo-mu-bo-guo-er, the Prince of Xiang, dies.
The Shunzhi Emperor begins to reside in the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing gong).
Per the empress’ order, Rules for the Domestic Realm (Neize yanyi) is compiled, and the Shunzhi Emperor personally adds a preface.
Hooge, the Prince of Su, is posthumously honored with an additional title (wu, meaning “military” or “martial”) that emphasizes his ability in martial affairs.
The Ministry of Rites is ordered to appoint Consort Xian (lit. "Worthy")—née Donggo, daughter of the high minister E-shuo—as the imperial honored consort.
The mausoleum at Xingjing is completed. (Also known as the Yong Tomb of the Qing, this burial complex is the resting place of the four progenitors preceding Nurhaci and two of Nurhaci’s uncles.)
Lady Donggo is officially appointed as the imperial honored consort, and a pardon is declared for criminals.
The deceased empress dowager is given her posthumous title.
Per imperial order, the Ministry of Rites prepares the construction of the Hall for Ancestral Worship (Fengxian dian).
The opening of the Imperial Geneanology Office is approved for compiling the imperial genealogy. The office is to be opened once every ten years.
A triennial large-scale military inspection parade is established.
Dingyou Year (approx. 1657)
Shunzhi Reign, 14th Year
The Shunzhi Emperor prays to the Supreme Emperor (Shangdi, lit. “Highest Emperor”, the supreme deity) at the Temple of Heaven for the harvest.
Additional sacrifices are made to Nurhaci.
The emperor abolishes the practice of having the Eight Banners conduct both provincial (xiang shi) and metropolitan (hui shi) examinations.
The Shunzhi Emperor presents sacrifices to the gods of land and grain.
Hong Taiji is revered in sacrifices at the Round Mount Altar and Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (Qinian dian) in the Temple of Heaven complex.
Nurhaci and Hong Taiji are revered in sacrifices at the Square-Moated Terrace in the Temple of the Earth complex.
With the completion of sacrifices, the emperor declares a general pardon throughout the empire.
Imperial authorities handle cases of cheating, bribery, fraud, and malpractice at civil service recruitment examination sites in Shuntian Prefecture (the capital area) and in the Jiangnan region. Perpetrators are either executed or severely punished.
Fengtian Prefecture is established in Shengjing (present-day Shenyang, Liaoning Province).
The imperial Classics Colloquium (Jing yan) is held for the first time.
Offerings to Confucius are made in the Hall of Promoting Virtue (Hongde dian) to mark the commencement of the Classics Colloquium (Jing yan).
The Shunzhi Emperor recreates in the South Gardens (Nan yuan, located in the southwestern outskirts of modern Beijing).
The first military inspections are held.
The Confucian Temple is repaired.
The construction of the Hall of Manifest Incidence (Zhaoshi dian) and Hall for Ancestral Worship (Fengxian dian) is completed.
The Shunzhi Emperor summons Hanpu Xingcong of the Haihui Temple for an audience.
The memorial tablets of previous emperors and empresses are placed in the completed Hall for Ancestral Worship (Fengxian dian). Rites are established for the imperial family to present offerings in the front hall upon the following occasions: lunar new year, winter solstice, Festival of Ten Thousand Longevities (Wanshou jie, the emperor’s birthday), occasions when noble titles are conferred upon imperial family members, and syzygies (the alignment of celestial bodies).
In celebration of the empress dowager's recovery from an illness, troops of the Banners are awarded and donations are made to the poor. This year the Compendium of Land Taxes and Labor Services (Fuyi quanshu) is compiled.
Wuxu Year (approx. 1658)
Shunzhi Reign, 15th Year
Due to the failure of the empress to call upon the empress dowager during her illness as proper etiquette requires, an order is made to discontinue memorials (jianzou) to the empress. Her official title is preserved, and her record in the imperial genealogy remains unchanged.
The Shunzhi Emperor personally examines provincial graduates from the previous year’s (dingyou year) examinations in Shuntian (the capital area). The Gate of Supreme Harmony (Taihe men) is chosen as the examination venue, and Manchu soldiers monitor the exam.
Sacrifices in the Shamanic place of worship (Chinese tangzi, Manchu tangse) cease.
The eunuch Wu Liangfu is arraigned on charges of associating with officials outside the palace, accepting bribes, and currying favor for personal gain. He is sentenced to death by beheading.
The Khorchin Mongol prince Ba-tu-lu’s daughter is granted the posthumous title Consort-in-ordinary Dao (lit. "Mourning"; an imperial concubine of the third rank, fei). Due to the empress dowager’s recovery, a pardon is declared throughout the empire.
Due to the empress dowager’s recovery, sacrifices are made at the Round Mound Altar, Square-Moated Terrace, Imperial Ancestral Temple, and Altar of Land and Grain.
Due to associations of the palace eunuchs with individuals from the officialdom, orders are made for all high ministers to be sternly interrogated.
The fourth imperial son is posthumously honored as the enfeoffed Prince of Rong; his mausoleum and surrounding garden are constructed according to ritual standards.
The Household Administration of the Heir Apparent (Zhanshi fu) is dissolved.
Official annual allotments of silver and grain are discontinued for widowed princess-consorts of all princes and lower-ranked officials; orders are made for them to fall under the Eight Banners system and receive half of the yearly allotment.
Grand secretaries in the Three Palace Academies are named as grand secretaries of certain halls (diange daxueshi).
The Hanlin Academy is established, and the Chancellors in charge of the academy are appointed.
The palace academy grand secretaries Gioro Bahana and Jin Zhijun are appointed as grand secretaries of the Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghe dian). E-se-hei (of the Fuca clan) and Cheng Kegong are appointed as grand secretaries of the Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohe dian). Jiang Hede and Liu Zhengzong are appointed as grand secretaries of the Hall of Literary Brilliance (Wenhua dian). Hong Chengchou, Fu Yijian, and Hu Shi’an are appointed as grand secretaries of the Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian). Zhou Weizuo is appointed as a grand secretary of the Belvedere of Literary Profundity (Wenyuan ge). Li Wei is appointed as a grand secretary of the East Belvedere (Dong ge).
The quota and ranking of women in the palace are established.
Jihai Year (approx. 1659)
Shunzhi Reign, 16th Year
Yunnan and Guizhou are brought under imperial rule, and orders are made for metropolitan examinations to be held in the fall of the year (1659).
The imperial treasury apportions 300,000 taels of silver for Yunnan and Guizhou. Half of the sum is used in poverty relief. Half is used for army provisions.
The ancestral mausoleum at Xingjing is entitled the Yong Tomb (lit. “Eternal Tomb”).
The Shunzhi Emperor hunts in the Tangquan and Sanyingtun areas in the outskirts of the imperial capital.
Officials are sent to sacrifice at the mausoleums of the Ming emperors. Additional caretakers are appointed for the Ming mausoleums. Repairs are made to the structures. Collecting firewood around the mausoleums is forbidden.
Regulations are established for hereditary offices.
Noble titles are bestowed upon princesses.
Gengzi Year (approx. 1660)
Shunzhi Reign, 17th Year
The capital’s Confucian Temple (Wen miao, lit. “Culture Temple”) is completed.
Since the Shunzhi Emperor has not subdued all of China after seventeen years on the throne, he proclaims by imperial edict that this month he will make sacrifices to Heaven and Earth and at the Imperial Ancestral Temple and the Altar of Land and Grain. He expresses grave remorse. From henceforth memorials to the throne are discontinued on the lunar new year, winter solstice, and the imperial birthday. Furthermore, a pardon is declared throughout the empire.
Annual sacrifices are appointed for the worship of Heaven, the Earth, the sun, the moon, and various gods during the first lunar month of spring in the Hall of Great Sacrifice (Daxiang dian).
The Ministry of Rites is presented with the following imperial order, “Previously, during the first month of spring, prayers for the harvest were held in the Hall of Great Sacrifice. Henceforward, joint sacrifices to heaven and earth and the sun and the moon will be conducted in the Hall of Great Sacrifices. From the next year forward, prayers for the harvest will be held at the Round Mound Altar.”
The Ministry of Rites is presented with the following imperial order, “We have examined the old ways. Apart from the sacrifice to ancestors at the end of the year in the Imperial Ancestral Temple, the joint sacrifices at the Hall for Ancestral Worship (Fengxian dian) were also observed.
Henceforward, joint sacrifices shall be made at the Hall for Ancestral Worship (Fengxian dian) on the lunar new year, the empress dowager’s birthday, and Our birthday.”
The noble titles of the wives and daughters of various princes and dukes are established.
A redaction is made of regulations regarding the helmet tassels for noble persons with titles higher than secretary or adjutant (Chinese zhangjing, Manchu janggin) and lower than prince, duke, marquis, and earl.
Orders are made for Hanlin Academy officials to work shifts in the offices at the Gate of Good Fortune (Jingyun men).
Additional sacrificial ceremonies in the Temple for Emperors of Successive Dynasties are initiated for Zhongzong and Gaozong of the Shang dynasty, kings Cheng and Kang of the Zhou dynasty, the Wen emperor of the Han dynasty, Renzong of the Song dynasty, and Xiaozong of the Ming dynasty. Sacrifices are discontinued for Taizu (r. 916-926)—the founding emperor of the Liao dynasty—and the Song dynasty officials Pan Mei and Zhang Jun.
The Shunzhi Emperor walks to the Temple of Heaven, observes fasting and abstinence, and prepares for the prayer ceremony for rain the next day.
The emperor makes sacrifices to Heaven at the Round Mound Altar. Orders are made for the restoration of offering sacrifices to famous mountains, rivers throughout the empire and bygone emperors, kings, and sages.
The daughter of Šose, the Prince of Chengze is raised in the palace, and she is named Princess Shun. She is married to Shang Zhilong, the seventh son of Shang Kexi, the Prince Pacifier of the South.
On the seventeenth day, the imperial honored consort, née Dongga, dies. Court proceedings are halted for five days. In violation of funerary customs, many of the palace ladies are buried along with the deceased consort. On the twenty-first day, the late consort is posthumously named as empress.
On the tenth day, the deceased imperial honored consort, née Dongga, is cremated.
The Shunzhi Emperor visits Changping and various mausoleums of the Ming dynasty emperors.
The Great Enlightened Chan Master Yulin Tongxiu discourages and inhibits the Shunzhi Emperor from shaving his head and becoming a monk.
Xinchou Year (approx. 1661)
Shunzhi Reign, 18th Year
On the second day, the Shunzhi Emperor contracts smallpox and is gravely ill.
Ma-le-ji—who originally held the post of grand secretary—and Chancellor Wang Xi prepare the emperor’s posthumous edict. On the seventh day, the Shunzhi Emperor dies in the Hall of Spiritual Cultivation (Yangxin dian). The emperor’s testament includes an appraisal of his eighteen-year reign. Sonin, Suksaha, Ebilun, and Oboi serve as regents for the soon-to-be appointed eight year old emperor. On the eighth day, officials are dispatched throughout the empire to announce the imperial testament. On the ninth day, Xuanye ascends the throne.
The Shunzhi Emperor’s coffin is moved to the Hall of Imperial Longevity (Shouhuang dian) at Prospect Hill (Jing shan).
The thirteen Agencies are dissolved.
Wu Liangfu the eunuch is killed.
The Court of Imperial Armaments (Wubei yuan) is established to produce and store all of the armaments for martial and decorative use.
The Three Textile Manufactories of Jiangning, Suzhou, and Hangzhou are ordered to become subordinate to the Imperial Household Department.
The Shunzhi Emperor is posthumously given the titles “Manifest Emperor” and Shizu (lit. "Progenitor"). The deceased emperor receives a lavish burial with sacrifices.
Translator: Adam J. Ensign
Editor: Li Yang