An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Fuhui quanshu 福惠全書

Jan 24, 2020 © Ulrich Theobald

Fuhui quanshu 福惠全書, also called Juguan fuhui quanshu 居官福惠全書, is a handbook for district administration in the civilian and jurisdictional realms compiled during the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Huang Liuhong 黃六鴻 (juren degree 1651), courtesy name Sihu 思湖 or Zhengqing 正卿. Huang was district magistrate of Tancheng 郯城, Shandong, since 1675 of Dongguang 東光, Zhili. He was afterwards remonstrance official (jianguan 諫官) at the court, and was in 1691 promoted to the office of examining official (tongkaoguan 同考官) of the metropolitan examination. At the time of his retirement in 1693, he held the office of Supervising Censor of Rites (libu jishizhong 禮科給事中).

The book with a lengh of 32 juan was finished in 1694. In his preface, the author explains that a prefect or district magistrate had the duty to seek for the happiness (fu 福) of his subjects, and to display benevolence (hui 惠) to them in times of hardship. In order to achieve these two aims, local administrators were asked to follow Huang's advice in fourteen important fields of governance.

The part on crime and criminal procedure occupies the largest space of all chapters. It deals even with forensic matters (yansi 驗屍, jian gegu 檢枯骨). The text about this issue is excerpted from the books Jianyan sishang zhinan 檢驗屍傷指南 and Yijiu sishang fa 醫救死傷法.

The Fuhui quanshu is often called the first handbook for magistrates, but it was actually based on Pan Biaocan's 潘杓燦 Weixin bian 未信編, a book with similar content.

There were many editions of the Fuhui quanshu, including extracts and abbreviated versions.

There is a complete translation by Djang Chu (1984), A Complete Book Concerning Happiness and Benevolence (Fu-hui ch’üan-shu): A Manual for Local Magistrates in Seventeenth-Century China (Tucson: University of Arizona Press).

Table 1. Contents of the Fuhui quanshu 福惠全書
1 筮仕 Shishi Selection and appointment
2-4 蒞任 Liren Assuming office
6-8 錢榖 Qiangu Tax collection
8 雜課 Zake Miscellanous taxes
9 編審 Bianshen Registration and assessment
10 清丈 Qingzhang Cadastral survey
11-20 刑名 Xingming Crime and criminal procedure
21-23 保甲 Baojia The communal self-defence system
24 典禮 Dianli Ceremonies and rituals
25-26 教養 Jiaoyang Education and public welfare
27 荒政 Huangzheng Famine relief
28-29 郵政 Youzheng Postal service
30-31 庶政 Shuzheng Miscellaneous administrative affairs
32 陞遷 Shengqian Promotion and transfer
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