Fêng P'u

Fêng P'u 馮溥 (T. 孔博, 易齋), 1609-1692, Jan.-Feb., official, was a native of I-tu, Shantung. A chin-shih of 1646, he became a compiler of the Hanlin Academy three years later. In 1670 he was made president of the Board of Punishments and in the following year a Grand Secretary. In 1673 he was appointed one of the director-generals for the compilation of the "veritable records", or shih-lu, of T'ai-tsung (see under Abahai). In that same year, as well as later in 1679, he was chief examiner of the metropolitan examinations. When the special examination known as po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ was given in 1679 (see under P'êng Sun-yü) he was one of the four readers, or yüeh-chüan kuan 閱卷官, who were asked to judge the papers. Appreciative of the talents of younger men and eager to encourage them, he was instrumental in getting several to try in the examination. After 1670 he repeatedly asked permission to retire on account of old age, but the request was not granted until 1682. In the winter of that year the Shih-lu of T'ai-tsung was completed, and in recognition of that achievement he was given the title of Grand Tutor of the Heir Apparent. He died at the age of eighty-three (sui) and received the official posthumous title, Wên-i 文毅.

During his official career Fêng P'u memorialized the throne on many valuable administrative reforms concerning the judiciary, taxation, and the storage of grain against famine years. In 1667 he re-established the orphanage, Yü-ying t'ang 育嬰堂, in the southeast corner of the south city of Peking. This institution was first set up by Chin Chih-chün [q.v.] but it was only through the efforts of Fêng P'u that it was firmly established. It was designated as a model by an imperial edict of 1724, and the provinces were ordered to found similar institutions. Fêng P'u built a garden adjacent to it, which on account of its numerous willow trees, was called Wan-liu t'ang 萬柳堂, or "The Hall of a Myriad Willows". In this retreat he used to receive scholars and hold literary gatherings. Famous literary men of the time, such as Mao Ch'i-ling, Chu I-tsun, and Ch'ên Wei-sung [qq.v.], have left essays concerning the place.

The collected works of Fêng P'u, entitled 佳山堂集 Chia-shan t'ang chi, 10 chüan, were printed in the K'ang-hsi period. A supplement in 9 chüan appeared under the title, Chia-shan t'ang êr (二) chi.

[2/7/38a; 3/3/33a; 4/11/22a; 7/3/14b; Nien-p'u 年譜 of Fêng P'u in Mao Ch'i-ling's [q.v.] Hsi-ho ho-chi;益都縣圖志 I-tu hsien t'u-chih (1907) 37/la; Jih-hsia chiu-wên k'ao (see under Chu I-tsun) 56/5a, 8b; Ssŭ-k'u, 181/12a.]