71 documents
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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Title(Qinban) Zhouxian shiyi 欽頒州縣事宜 [Advice for Magistrates Published by Imperial Order]
Topic3.2 Regulations collections: local regulations
Historical periodEarly Qing (1644-1796)
AuthorTian Wenjing 田文鏡
CollectionGuanzhen shu jicheng 官箴書集成
Number of volume3
Publication typeWoodblock

The work was commissioned by the Yongzheng emperor, who wanted to have seasoned high officials write a handbook for inexperienced new magistrates (a first project had been entrusted to Zhu Shi 朱軾 and Shen Jinsi 沈近思 in 1724). The edict of YZ 8/3/4 (undated in 1859 ed.), which serves as a pref., indicates that the emperor has inspected the text and has been satisfied with its style and contents. A copy should be given to every magistrate to keep along and constantly consult. Tian Wenjing is often cited as the book’s only author, but it can be seen in Yongzheng’s edict that both he and Li Wei were entrusted with the task. Both were among his favorite officials and staunch supporters of his policies. The text is composed of two parts bearing the same title (viz. the author’s name and title followed with the words qinzun shengyu tiaolie zhouxian shiyi 欽遵聖諭條列州縣事宜). Part One, by Tian Wenjing, is headed with a table of contents (not given in the 1868 ed.); Part Two, by Li Wei, has neither table of contents nor paragraph captions. The contents of both parts follow the order of standard magistrate handbooks, starting with post assumption (到任) and files transfer (交代), and covering the official’s main tasks in fiscal, judicial, educational, security, and economic matters. Some entries are devoted to yamen organization and controlling personnel. Tian Wenjing’s last entry is on “integrity” (操守). The tone is extremely factual and devoid of rhetoric, and the advice dispended is at the same time precise and generic. Tian Wenjing’s part is somewhat more comprehensive in its coverage. Despite unavoidable overlap, the two texts can be regarded as complementary.

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