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Jia-jing: Year 29, Month 7, Day 21

1 Sep 1550

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It was Imperially commanded that the inspector general of Zhe-jiang and Fu-jian, the Censor-in-chief Zhu Wan, be arrested and brought to the capital for investigation and that Lu Tang, an assistant commissioner in the Fu-jian Regional Military Commission, and Ke Qiao, a maritime route vice commissioner, be both sent to prison and sentenced to death. Previously Wan had memorialized:

"People from the maritime yi country of Fo-lang-ji had been engaged in pillaging and they came to the region of Zhang-zhou. The government troops met and attacked them at Zou-ma-xi, capturing 96 persons including the bandit leader Li Guang-tou (= "Baldy" Li). The bandits have, in accordance with the situation, already been beheaded."

The memorial was sent to the Ministry of War which requested that rewards for achievements be decided after verification. A while later, the Censor Chen Jiu-de memorialized claiming that Wan had carried out the executions without waiting for authority and that some innocents had thus been executed. The judicial offices responded with a request that an official be sent to conduct a joint investigation. The Emperor approved this. Thus, Wan was removed from his post and it was ordered that Du Ru-zhen, a supervising secretary in the Office of Scrutiny for War, proceed there.

At this time Ru-zhen and the Censor Chen Zong-kui memorialized their report:

"In the past, bandits who were fan people from Melaka would every year entice wanderers in the coastal areas to accompany them back and forth across the oceans dealing in fan goods. However, no instances of arrogation of titles or widespread pillaging occurred at that time. In the 27th year (1548/49) they again came to Yue Gang, Wu Yu and other places in Zhang-zhou. When they entered these ports, the officials of the various places did not detain these persons or their goods and did not memorialize advice to the Court. Rather, they accepted bribes and allowed them to anchor. This allowed them unrestrained contact communication with evil-doers in the interior and thus secrets leaked out. Then some indecisive efforts were made to drive them away, but the various fan resisted arrest and killed people. This harmed national integrity. Later, the various bandits were captured. Then, without distinguishing between fan and civilian or between leaders and followers, they were all executed without authorization. Thereby, innocents were also killed. It is indeed as Jiu-de has said. Wan committed a great crime but submitted a memorial proclaiming victory. Tang and Qiao were his aides in this. Under the law, they should be subject to the ultimate penalty. As to the officials who sat by and watched this, the crimes of the Assistant Prefect Weng Can and the Guard Commander Li Xi-xian are next in seriousness, while the crimes of the Assistant Guard Commander Wang You-lin, the Prefect Lu Bi and the Assistant Regional Commander Wang Da-shou are again subordinate in their seriousness. The four fan persons, including Fang-shu-bai, who resisted arrest should be executed, while the remaining 51 persons, including Fo-nan-bo-er-zhe, should be subject to appropriate arrangements. The remaining evil-doers who have had communication with the fan should be banished."

At this time, the Ministry of War and the three judicial offices responded with memorials supporting Ru-zhen's proposals. Wan, Tang and Qiao were thereupon charged with crimes, Weng and the others were to be subject to investigation by the investigating censor, while Wang You-lin and the others were to have their salaries suspended for differing periods. Wan was honest and uncorrupted, and brave in his official duties. He was the area commander for Fu-jian and Zhe-jiang, firmly enforced the ban on communication with the fan and thereby the seas were quieted. In the Zou-ma-xi campaign, although his actions were excessive, and the investigating officials had to note his crimes, the achievements and transgressions were not fully clarified. Wan was thus grieved and apprehensive and prior to the final investigation he took poison and died. The general feeling was one of sympathy for him.

Shi-zong: juan 363.5b-6b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 85, page 6470/72

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Preferred form of citation for this entry:

Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/jia-jing/year-29-month-7-day-21, accessed November 18, 2018