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Hešeri (Chinese: 赫舍里; Pinyin: Hesheli; Manchu: ᡥᡝᠰᡝᡵᡳ Hešeri), is a Manchu clan with Jianzhou Jurchens roots, originally hailing from the area which is now the modern Chinese provinces of Jilin and Liaoning. It was once one of the most important and powerful families in the early Qing dynasty in China, second only to the royal House of Aisin Gioro, to whom they were closely related by marriage.[1][2] The power of the family reached its zenith in the period of Marquess Hešeri Sonin and his second son Duke Hešeri Songgotu (from approximately 1650 to 1705).[citation needed] Although its influence declined following Songgotu's death, clan Hešeri continued to play a role in Chinese politics until the demise of the Qing dynasty in early 1912.



The name Hešeri was first recorded in the Thirty Common Surnames of Jurchen during the later Tang dynasty (c. 800-850), and is said to be derived from the name of an ancestral river (šeri loosely translating to water-spring in the Manchu language). Alternatively, some have suggested that the name may stem from that of an ancient tribe. During the Tang dynasty, the Hešeri lived on the northern outskirts of the empire, co-existing to some degree with the then extant Khitan and the Liao dynasty they founded (which dynasty the Jurchen ultimately conquered and destroyed in 1125[3]); while the bulk of the clan maintained their ancestral residencies, the (second) ascendancy of the Jurchen (renamed by this time to Manchu) during the Qing dynasty and the administrative and military appointments clan Hešeri enjoyed as a result saw moderate diffusion of Hešeri throughout the more interior northern and central provinces.

After the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and the resulting 1912 collapse of the Qing dynasty, the vast majority of Hešeri saw fit to distance themselves from their Manchu origins. To accomplish this, the more Han-sounding diminutive He (Chinese: 赫/何) was adopted as a replacement surname (commonly spelled Ho in Hong Kong and several other Cantonese-speaking regions); a few Hešeri went further and changed their surnames completely to Gao (高), Kang (康), Zhang (张), Lu (芦), He (贺), Suo (索), Ying (英), Hao (郝), Hei (黑), Pu (普), Li (李), or Man (满).

Notable people[edit]

In Jin dynasty[edit]

In the 119-year history of the Jin dynasty, at least 52[4] people from this clan were powerful enough to affect the government's decisions. Their names were recorded in the History of Jin.

  • Zhining (Chinese: 纥石烈志宁).
  • Liangbi (Chinese: 纥石烈良弼).
  • Ziren (Chinese: 纥石烈子仁).
  • Cupei (Chinese: 纥石烈腊醅).
  • Machan (Chinese: 纥石烈麻产), Cupei's brother.
  • Zhizhong (Chinese:纥石烈执中,?-1213).
  • Yawuta (Chinese: 纥石烈牙吾塔;?-1231), a general.

In Qing dynasty[edit]

  • Shuose (Chinese: 硕色),[5] Sonin's father. Fluent in Mandarin, Mongolian and Manchu. Awarded the honorific Bakeshi (Chinese: 巴克什) ("Knowledgeable Man") by the Qing dynasty's founding father, Nurhaci.
  • Hešeri Hife (Chinese: 希福; ?-1662), Shuose's brother. He had the same language skill as his elder brother. Also awarded the honorific Bakeshi[5] and honored as one of only three companions to the then-emperor with the epithet "[one] whose merit aided our Way."[6]
  • Erdeni (Chinese: 额尔德尼, not to be confused with 班禅额尔德尼), originally from the Nara clan, one of the two inventors of the Manchu script. He was inducted into the clan and given the surname Hešeri by the Qing ruler Hong Taiji as a reward for his contributions.[7]
  • Sonin (Chinese: 索尼; ?-1667), Chief minister, Grand Councillor (Chinese: 議政大臣) of the Shunzhi Emperor. Senior among the Four Regents of the Kangxi Emperor; conferred the title of Marquess in his lifetime and that of Duke after his death.
    • Songgotu (Chinese: 索额图; ?-1703), second son of Sonin (some say the third), Grand Councillor (Chinese: 議政大臣), Chief Minister of the Kangxi Emperor, main signatory of the Treaty of Nerchinsk.
    • Gabula (Chinese: 噶布喇), first son of Sonin, inherited his father's title of Duke. Chief Minister of the Kangxi Emperor.
      • Empress Xiaochengren (Chinese (posthumously): 孝誠恭肅正惠安和淑懿恪敏儷天襄聖仁皇后, 1653-1674), married to the Kangxi Emperor, also known as "Empress Hešeri".
  • Suwayamboo (Chinese: 帅颜保; 1641–1684), son of Hife, Sonin's cousin. Minister of River Transport for the Kangxi Emperor (Chinese: 漕运总督 康熙).
  • Dingshou (Chinese: 定寿;?-1731), one of the greatest military generals of the early Qing dynasty. Ultimately served as Vice Governor of the Mongolian Plain Yellow Banner.
  • Songzhu (Chinese: 松柱; 1657–1735), Grand Councillor (Chinese: 議政大臣), Minister of Rites (Chinese: 內閣學士兼禮部侍郎), Wenhua Scholar (Chinese: 禮部尚書兼文華殿大學士), Royal Tutor (Chinese: 太子太傅)
  • Sungseo (Chinese: 嵩寿; ?-1755), grandson of Shuaiyanbao, 禮部右侍郎.
  • Jiamo (Chinese: 嘉谟 1711-1777), Minister of River Transport (Chinese: 漕運總督), Minister of Home Office (Chinese: 內務府大臣).
  • Guangliang (Chinese: 广亮; ?-1800), general of Heilongjiang.
  • Fuzhina (Chinese: 富志那, ?-1810), Viceroy (or more precisely Governor-General) of Guizhou (Chinese: 貴州提督).
  • Saichong'a (Chinese: 赛冲阿;?-1826), Governor of the Mongolian Plain Yellow Banner. Served also as the Governor of the Manchu Plain Red Banner and the Mongolian Bordered Blue Banner prior to this appointment. Awarded the posthumous title 'Taizitaishi (Chinese: 太子太师)'.
  • Hešeri Jilun (Chinese: 吉纶; ?-1826), Governor of the Manchu Plain Blue Banner, Minister of River Transport (Chinese: 漕運總督), Governor of Shandong (Chinese: 山东巡抚), Co-Minister of Industry (Chinese: 工部右侍郎).
  • Fulehong'a (Chinese: 福勒洪阿; ?-1829), 内阁学士, Co-Minister of Defense (Chinese: 兵部右侍郎), Co-Minister of Foreign Affairs (Chinese: 理藩院左侍郎)
  • Nadanzhu (Chinese: 那丹珠, ?-1832), Minister of Rites (Chinese: 內閣學士兼禮部侍郎), 兵部右侍郎.
  • Shutong'a (Chinese: 舒通阿;1776–1836), Vice Military Conmmander of Zhili (Chinese: 直隶副总兵).
  • Chunqing (Chinese: 淳庆,?-1847), Viceroy of Yunnan and Guizhou (Chinese: 云贵总督).
  • Muteng'e (Chinese: 穆腾额 ;1780–1852), General of Jiangnin (Chinese: 江宁将军).
  • Shuxing'a (Chinese: 舒兴阿 ?-1858), Viceroy of Shanxi and Gansu (Chinese: 陕甘总督), Co-Minister of Defense (Chinese: 兵部右侍郎), 军机大臣, dead as 云南巡抚.
  • Shuyuan (Chinese: 书元;?-1859), Supreme Court Shaoqing (Chinese: 大理寺少卿), 盛京戶部侍郎兼奉天府府尹, 戶部右侍郎兼管錢法堂事務.
  • Hebao (Chinese: 和宝), 兵部员外郎, 通政司参议.
  • Yinggui (Chinese: 英桂,?-1879), Viceroy of Fujian and Zhejiang (Chinese: 闽浙总督), General of the Army (Chinese: 步军统领,同治13年-光绪3年). Gained title 太子太保 after his death.
  • Warda (Chinese: 洼尔达), a general.
  • Tundali (Chinese:吞达礼), an important military commander.
  • Hechun (Chinese: 和春; ?-1860), Viceroy and Imperial Admiral of Jiangnan (Chinese: 江南提督, 钦差大臣, 被赐黄马褂) and military commander.
  • Enchang(Chinese: 恩长), a military commander.
  • Rushan (Chinese: 如山), Magistrate of Sichuan (Chinese: 四川按察使).
  • Sebjengge (Chinese: 色普徵额 ?-1907), General of Ningxia (Chinese: 宁夏将军)[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jonathan D. Spence (16 December 2002). The Cambridge History of China: Volume 9, Part 1, The Ch'ing Empire to 1800. Cambridge University Press. pp. 127–128. ISBN 978-0-521-24334-6. 
  2. ^ Jonathan D. Spence (25 July 2012). Emperor of China: Self-Portrait of K'ang-Hsi. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-82306-9. 
  3. ^ Michal Biran (2005). The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History: Between China and the Islamic World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 29-30. ISBN 0521842263
  4. ^ 《金史·列传》
  5. ^ a b http://baike.baidu.com/view/1289096.html
  6. ^ Pamela Kyle Crossley (1990). Orphan Warriors: Three Manchu Generations and the End of the Qing World. Princeton University Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-691-00877-9. 
  7. ^ Pamela Kyle Crossley (1999). A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology. University of California Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-520-92884-8. 
  8. ^ 清史稿
  9. ^ http://manchusky.blog.sohu.com/22823959.html

External links[edit]