Zheng-de: Year 5, Month 1, Day 22

2 Mar 1510

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Among the envoys who had been sent by the king of the country of Melaka was one Ya-liu, who was originally named Xiao Ming-ju and came from Wan-an in Jiang-xi. As he had been engaged in a criminal rebellion, he went to that country and there became an interpreter. At this time, he came to the Court together with Duan Ya-zhi and other persons of that country and they were richly rewarded. Thereupon, they bribed the Senior Interpreter Wang Yong and the Usher Zhang Zi and plotted to go to the country of Bo-ni to demand valuables. The Ministry of Rites official Hou Yong accepted bribes and manufactured a fake tally and seal. Ming-ju also created great troubles for persons in the postal relay stations. Subsequently, he quarrelled with Ya-zhi and the others, a total of 21 persons. He thereupon plotted with his accomplice Peng Wan-chun and others, and together they robbed and killed them, stealing all their property. When the events became known, they were arrested and sent to the capital. 

Ming-ju was sentenced to death by slow slicing, while Wan-chun and the others were beheaded. The heads of all were then exhibited to the public. Wang Yong had his death sentence reduced and he was fined 300 shi of rice. Zhang Zi and Hou Yong were banished to the borders as soldiers. The Battalion Commander Dong Yuan, who had escorted them, was demoted two grades while the Director Qiu Rang, who was in charge of them, was fined 300 shi of rice. The Minister Bai Yue and others all had their salaries suspended for three months. The Guang-dong grand defender and grand coordinator, the officials of the three offices, as well as the officials of the areas the mission passed through, who had been inattentive in their examination, were each fined 200 shi of rice. Only Pan Zhong, the eunuch in charge of the Maritime Trade Supervisorate, was especially pardoned. At this time, the Ministry of Rites advised:

"The yi person Po-jie-ya-ban is still alive. We should send an official to escort him and the previously conferred Imperial orders, tally-slips and other goods back to hand over to the yi person Dun-du-si, who remained in Guang-dong, to take back to their country. Also, the king of the country should be issued instructions advising him of this matter. The memorial of investigation submitted by the regional inspecting Investigating Censor Yuan Shi and the three offices is different from the current advice, and it appears that not all of the officials committed offences. Another censor should be sent to carry out a detailed investigation and advise on corrections."

The Emperor approved this and pardoned the regional inspector and officials of the three offices from punishment. It was further noted:

"The custom of those in Jiang-xi has always been to trifle with the law. For example, Peng Hua, Li Yu, Yin Zhi, Xu Qiong, Li Zi-xing and Huang Jing have often attracted criticism and it is inappropriate to employ or promote them. Further, the number of provincial graduates sent from that area is excessive. We should now dismiss 50 of these persons and regulations should be set down disallowing them from being appointed to positions in the capital."

When this proposal was made known, the ministers were amazed at the unfairness of the proposal. This actually resulted from the fact that the Grand Secretary Jiao Fang-su held a deep resentment against Hua and the others and had thus secretly incited Liu Jin to vent anger against Jiang-xi in this way.

Wu-zong: juan 59.4b-5b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 64, page 1312/14

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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/zheng-de/year-5-month-1-day-22, accessed January 22, 2019