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Unless otherwise specified, the descriptions of sources in this section are extracted from Pierre-Etienne Will and collaborators,Official Handbooks and Anthologies of Imperial China: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).
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TitleShouhe riji 守禾日紀 [A Day-by-Day Account of Administering Jiaxing]
Topic4.2 Magistrates handbooks: Handbooks for legal experts
Historical periodEarly Qing (1644-1796)
Reprint (year of)1740
AuthorLu chongxing 盧崇興
CollectionLidai panli pandu 歷代判例判牘
Number of volume9
Place of publication北京
Publication typePrint

An extremely informative collection of administrative pieces composed during the years 1675-78 while the author was prefect of Jiaxing 嘉興 (Zhejiang) (anciently Jiahe 嘉禾 commandery), a place repeatedly described in the work as difficult to govern because of its position at a crossroads, its heavy fiscal burden, and the unruliness of its inhabitants. During Lu’s tenure, circumstances were made particularly difficult by the ongoing operations against the rebel Geng Jingzhong 耿精忠, one of the “Three Feudatories,” and the general exhaustion of the populace. The work is meant to exemplify the efforts of a highly devoted and active official in this sort of environment. J. 1 consists of 23 pieces of various genres, on such subjects as the construction of schools and other buildings, taking care of refugees and other charitable enterprises, corvée labor, an examination scandal, rural militia and baojia, the correction of fiscal abuses, salt smuggling, criminal investigations, and problems of tribute commutation. J. 2-3 consist of 55 proclamations (告示) to Lu’s subordinates and constituents; they include several detailed pieces on yamen organization and rules, and discuss topics such as administrative discipline (吏治), fiscal administration and its many abuses, grain tribute (including, prominently, problems raised by the commutation of rice into silver at very high rates, as well as the imposition of extortionate surcharges), local examinations, prison management, infanticide, reform of baojia, pettifogging and false accusations, water transportation within the prefectural city, gentry tax delinquency, charitable schools, reforming shelters for the poor (養濟院), taking care of abandoned babies, controlling real estate transactions to prevent lawsuits, the postal service, the slaughtering of oxen and dogs, gambling, arresting bandits, controlling silversmiths and money-changers. The emphasis is on the difficulties and abuses hampering most governmental functions, which the author endeavoured to correct. J. 4-6 consist of 188 judicial sentences (讞語), some quite extensive, concerning cases both criminal and civil. The documents quoted in the work are not dated. Lu Zhuo, the author’s grandson, was governor of Zhejiang when he wrote his postf. for a new engraving of the work, which had been transmitted to him by his father (see details below). In the 1788 ed. various documents related to Lu Chongxing’s admission to the Temple of Eminent Statesmen (入名宦祀) in 1740 are appended.

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