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Marquis of Extended Grace

Marquis of Extended Grace was a title held by a descendant of the imperial family of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) during the subsequent Qing dynasty (1644–1912). Holders of this title were also called the Marquis of Zhu from the surname of the Ming imperial clan.[1] The marquis presided at memorial ceremonies held twice a year at the Ming tombs near Beijing.[2]

Marquis of Extended Grace
Marquis of Extended Grace
Creation date1725 created as Marquis, 1750 created as Marquis of Extended Grace
PeerageChinese nobility
First holderZhu Zhilian
Last holderZhu Yuxun
Present holderNone; title abolished

The Ming dynasty was Han Chinese while the Qing dynasty was dominated by the Manchus, a people from the northeast. Many Chinese remained loyal to the Ming dynasty long after it collapsed. In 1644-1662, there were several loyalist armies based in southern China.

Several Ming princes accompanied Koxinga to Taiwan in 1661–1662, including the Prince of Ningjing Zhu Shugui and Prince Zhu Honghuan (朱弘桓), son of Zhu Yihai, where they lived in the Kingdom of Tungning. Koxinga's grandson Zheng Keshuang surrendered to the Qing dynasty in 1683 and was rewarded by the Kangxi Emperor with the title "Duke of Haicheng" (海澄公) and he and his soldiers were inducted into the Eight Banners.[3][4][5] The Qing then sent the 17 Ming princes still living on Taiwan back to mainland China where they spent the rest of their lives in exile, since their lives were spared and they were not executed.[6] Zhu Honghuan was among them.

The Qing government finally made peace with the Ming loyalists in 1725 when the Yongzheng Emperor bestowed the title of marquis on Zhu Zhilian (Chu Chih lien[7]), a senior descendant of the Ming imperial family.[8] He was posthumously promoted to "marquis of extended grace" in 1750.[9] The title suggests that the Qing emperors were extending their grace to a representative of a defunct dynasty.[2] Zhu Zhiliang was also inducted into the Chinese Plain White Banner of the Eight Banners system which was one of the Three Upper Banners.

It was a Chinese custom for the Emperors of a new dynasty to enfeoff a member of the previous dynasty they overthrew with a noble title and give them land or a stipend to offer sacrifices at their ancestor's graves, practiced since the Shang dynasty when the Zhou dynasty granted the fief of Song to a descendant of the Shang royal family. This practice was referred to as 二王三恪. Regardless, the Marquis was not granted the privilege to practice Ming customs and rituals. In contrast to the practices of previous dynasties, the Marquis served the Qing monarchy as subjects, instead of honoured guests with independent fiefdoms. Moreover, the Marquis' branch is one of minority in the House of Zhu. It can thus be argued that the Qing monarchs discontinued such custom with the installation of "Marquis of the Extended Grace".

During the Xinhai Revolution which led to the abdication of the Qing Emperor, some advocated that a Han be installed as Emperor, either the descendant of Confucius, who was the Duke Yansheng,[10][11][12] or the Ming dynasty Imperial family descendant, the Marquis of Extended Grace.[13][14]

The last marquis was Zhu Yuxun. In September 1924, Zhu met Reginald Johnston, the British tutor of Puyi, the last Qing emperor. Although China had been a republic since 1912, Puyi was still holding his imperial court in the Forbidden City at this time. Even though Zhu was living in a hovel and had only rags to wear, Johnston described him as "still a true Chinese gentleman."[15] The business card Zhu gave Johnston said he was a descendant of the Ming imperial family and lived in Yangguan Alley, a hutong near Dongzhi Gate (明裔延恩侯朱煜勳炳南東直門北小街羊管胡同).[16] After Puyi was evicted from the Forbidden City in the Beijing Coup in October, Zhu visited him at the Japanese concession in Tianjin.[2] Zhu later followed Puyi to the northeast. Puyi reigned as emperor of Manchukuo (Manchuria) in 1934-1945.

In 1929, Zhu Yuxun petitioned the National government of the Republic of China for help since he was living in destitution and said he could no longer carry out his duties. The government abolished his title as Marquis and paid him a stipend instead. In 1933, the government totally terminated all of his duties in carrying out ceremonies at the Ming tombs and totally ended his position. After that, nothing is known about what happened to Zhu Yuxun.

List of title holdersEdit

The following is a list of title holders:[17] Adoptions occurred between related family members.

  1. Zhu Zhilian (朱之琏). Based on Zhilian's imperial ancestry, the Yongzheng Emperor awarded him the title of marquis in 1725. He died in 1730. In 1750, he was posthumously awarded the title "marquis of extended grace" by the Qianlong Emperor. A descendant of the first Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang's 13th son, Prince Zhu Gui 朱桂, through Zhu Gui's descendant, Zhu Yi 朱彝, who along with his agnatic nephew (brother's son) Zhu Wenyuan 朱文元 went on an expedition against the Qing in Liaodong during the Chongzhen emperor's reign, since they were defeated in battle, they surrendered and defected to the Qing and were placed into the Bordered White Banner of the Eight Banners system. Their descendant Zhu Zhilian was the prefectural magistrate of Zhengding County as appointed by the Yongzheng Emperor.
  2. Zhu Zhen (朱震). Son of Zhilian.
  3. Zhu Shaomei (朱绍美). Son of Zhen.
  4. Zhu Yifeng (朱仪凤). Nephew of Shaomei. Inherited title in 1777.
  5. Zhu Yurui (朱毓瑞). Son of Yifeng. Inherited title in 1797.
  6. Zhu Xiuji (朱秀吉). Son of Yurui.
  7. Zhu Xiuxiang (朱秀祥). Brother of Xiuji. Inherited title in 1828.
  8. Zhu Yitan (朱贻坦). Nephew of Xiuxiang. Inherited title in 1836.
  9. Zhu Shugui (朱书桂). Granduncle of Xiuxiang. Inherited title in 1836.
  10. Zhu Heling (朱鹤龄). Adopted son of Shugui.
  11. Zhu Chengrui (朱诚端). Grandnephew of Heling. Inherited title in 1869.
  12. Zhu Yuxun (朱煜勋). Son of Chengrui. Born in 1882. Inherited title in 1891. Followed Puyi to Manchuria.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ H.S. Brunnert; V.V. Hagelstrom (15 April 2013). Present Day Political Organization of China. Routledge. pp. 494–. ISBN 978-1-135-79795-9.
  2. ^ a b c Johnston, Reginald F. (1934), Twilight in the Forbidden City, Cambridge University Press, pp. 349–351, ISBN 1108029655
  3. ^ Herbert Baxter Adams (1925). Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science: Extra volumes. p. 57.
  4. ^ Pao Chao Hsieh (23 October 2013). Government of China 1644- Cb: Govt of China. Routledge. pp. 57–. ISBN 978-1-136-90274-1.
  5. ^ Pao C. Hsieh (May 1967). The Government of China, 1644-1911. Psychology Press. pp. 57–. ISBN 978-0-7146-1026-9.
  6. ^ Jonathan Manthorpe (15 December 2008). Forbidden Nation: A History of Taiwan. St. Martin's Press. pp. 108–. ISBN 978-0-230-61424-6.
  7. ^ Library of Congress. Orientalia Division (1943). 清代名人傳略: 1644-1912. 經文書局. p. 192.
  8. ^ Piero Corradini (2005). Cina. Popoli e società in cinque millenni di storia. Giunti Editore. pp. 314–. ISBN 978-88-09-04166-0.
    Central Asiatic Journal. O. Harrassowitz. 2002. p. 119.
  9. ^ Evelyn S. Rawski (15 November 1998). The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions. University of California Press. pp. 72–. ISBN 978-0-520-92679-0.
  10. ^ Eiko Woodhouse (2 August 2004). The Chinese Hsinhai Revolution: G. E. Morrison and Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1897-1920. Routledge. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-1-134-35242-5.
  11. ^ Jonathan D. Spence (28 October 1982). The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution. Penguin Publishing Group. pp. 84–. ISBN 978-1-101-17372-5.
  12. ^ Shêng Hu; Danian Liu (1983). The 1911 Revolution: A Retrospective After 70 Years. New World Press. p. 55.
    The National Review, China. 1913. p. 200.
    Monumenta Serica. H. Vetch. 1967. p. 67.
  13. ^ Percy Horace Braund Kent (1912). The Passing of the Manchus. E. Arnold. pp. 382–.
  14. ^ M.A. Aldrich (1 March 2008). The Search for a Vanishing Beijing: A Guide to China's Capital Through the Ages. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 176–. ISBN 978-962-209-777-3.
  15. ^ Great Britain and the East, vol. 57, p. 356
  16. ^ Reginald F. Johnston (30 June 2011). Twilight in the Forbidden City. Cambridge University Press. pp. 351–. ISBN 978-1-108-02965-0.
  17. ^ Draft History of Qing, chapters 9 ("Basic Annals of Shizong" 世宗本纪), 84 ("Rituals 3 – Auspicious Rituals 3" 禮三 吉禮三), 117 ("Officialdom 4" 職官四), and 169 ("Hereditary Tables of High Ministers and the Nobility" 诸臣封爵世表).