|Regent of the Qing Dynasty|
Serving with Sonin, Suksaha, Oboi
Princess Mukushen (mother)
|Noble Rank||1st class Duke|
|Posthumous name||Kexi 恪僖|
Ebilun (Manchu: ; Chinese: 遏必隆; pinyin: Èbìlóng; died 1673) was a Manchu noble and warrior of the Niohuru clan, most famous for being one of the Four Regents assisting the young Kangxi Emperor from 1661 to 1667, during the early Qing dynasty (1644–1912). A largely passive figure during the regency, Ebilun was disgraced following the ouster of the far more powerful regent Oboi and considered a political supporter of the latter. He was stripped of his positions by the emperor but later regained his noble rank. Many of his descendants became influential figures in the Qing imperial government.
Ebilun was from the Niohuru clan, which lived north of the Korean border and belonged to the Bordered Yellow Banner. He was the youngest of the sixteen sons of Eidu (1562–1621), who had been a close associate of Manchu patriarch Nurhaci. Ebilun's mother was herself a sister (or according some some sources, a cousin) of Nurhaci.
In 1634, the second Qing emperor Hong Taiji (r. 1626–1643) gave Eidu a posthumous rank of viscount, which Ebilun immediately inherited but lost in 1637 after he tried to interfere in a trial involving his niece. In 1643 Ebilun followed Nurhaci's seventh son Abatai in forays inside North China and was credited with the capture of several towns. In 1645 and 1646, after the Qing had defeated the Ming dynasty and made Beijing their capital, Ebilun served under Lekedehun in campaigns to dislodge Ming loyalist He Tengjiao from Hubei and was rewarded with a minor hereditary rank. Yet his position was not assured. Due to his belonging to the Yellow Banners, Ebilun was treated with suspicion by Dorgon, the Prince Regent of the young Shunzhi Emperor, whose power base was in the White Banners.
In 1648, during the persecution of Hooge, Dorgon's main rival, Ebilun's nephew accused Ebilun of having opposed Dorgon during the 1643 succession. Ebilun was sentenced to death, but his penalty was commuted. Half of his property was nonetheless confiscated and his minor nobility title was revoked.
The Shunzhi emperor restored Ebilun's titles after Dorgon's death, and eventually entrusted Ebilun with three others to assist the rule of his son (the Kangxi Emperor), who ascended the throne in 1661 at the age of seven. Of the four regents, Ebilun was ranked third, after Sonin and Suksaha, and before Oboi. In practice Ebilun acquiesced to Oboi on nearly all decisions, as the latter gained increasing power. Ebilun also played a role in the ouster of Suksaha, which, after the infirm Sonin died, left Oboi the unchallenged top political figure at court. In 1667, after the Kangxi Emperor assumed personal rule, Ebilun was given the title of a first-class duke. In 1669, Manchu noble Giyesu memorialized the Kangxi Emperor listing 21 crimes supposedly committed by Ebilun shortly after the emperor had moved against Oboi. Ebilun was then sentenced to death. The sentence was later commuted, and Ebilun retained his title, which could be inherited by his descendants.
Family and descendants
Ebilun belonged to the Eidu line of Niohuru clan nobles, many of whom would go on to serve with distinction in the imperial service. He had five sons. The eldest, Faka, inherited Ebilun's title of duke in 1667, only to lose it several years later.
Ebilun's fourth son, Yende, served as an official under the Yongzheng Emperor, and in turn Yende's own son, Tsereng, served as Viceroy of Huguang; another of Yende's sons, Nochin, served on the Grand Council of the Qianlong Emperor.
- Kennedy 1943a, p. 219 (Niohuru clan, Bordered Yellow Banner); Kennedy 1943b, p. 221 (Niohuru clan "settled just north of the Korean border").
- Kennedy, George A. Ebilun, Darthmouth University
- Kennedy 1943a, p. 219 (sixteenth son); Kennedy 1943b, p. 221 (Eidu had sixteen sons; close to Nurhaci).
- Rawski 1998, pp. 64–65.
- Kennedy 1943a, p. 219.
- Oxnam 1975, p. 28.
- Kennedy 1943a, p. 219 ("minor hereditary rank"); Fang 1943, p. 443 (Hubei campaigns were against He Tengjiao).
- Oxnam 1975, p. 45.
- Fang, Chao-ying (1943), "Lekedehun", in Hummel, Arthur W. (ed.), Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644–1912), Washington: United States Government Printing Office, pp. 443–44.
- Kennedy, George A. (1943a), "Ebilun", in Hummel, Arthur W. (ed.), Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644–1912), Washington: United States Government Printing Office, pp. 219–21.
- Kennedy, George A. (1943b), "Eidu", in Hummel, Arthur W. (ed.), Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644–1912), Washington: United States Government Printing Office, pp. 221–22.
- Oxnam, Robert B. (1975), Ruling from Horseback: Manchu Politics in the Oboi Regency, 1661–1669, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
- Rawski, Evelyn S. (1998), The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press.