The origin of Xie Zhending’s name of “The Royal Historian of Burning Cars

When it comes to Xie Zhending, people seldom know who he is, but when it comes to “burning carriage imperial historian”, it is a legendary figure in the Qing Dynasty.

Xie Gong prayed that the wind would turn into a tailwind

Xie Zhending was born in the 18th year of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1753) and died in the 14th year of Emperor Renzong Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty (1809). Xie Zhending was intelligent and well-educated, with the talent of the world, advocating temperament. In 1780, Xie Zhending was admitted to the Imperial Academy and entered the officialdom, changing his official position constantly. Xie Zhending served as a supervisor of the imperial court during the period, leaving several deeds that will be praised by future generations.

In the fifty-ninth year of the Qianlong reign, Xie Zhending was appointed as the Imperial Inspector of Jiangnan Province, inspecting the southern transport. At that time, the food dedicated to the capital’s civil and military officials and the eight banners of soldiers, is transported through the canal canal, called the canal, the relationship is significant.

Once, some ships were trapped in Guazhou, Jiangsu Province because of the wind direction and could not continue their voyage. Xie Zhending then prayed piously and soon the wind direction changed and the whole journey was downwind. The canal boats took advantage of the wind and sailed. At that time, people praised, “This is Xie Gong wind.”

Punish the evil slave with whip in the street

In the late Qianlong years, Heshen served as Chancellor, arrogant and arrogant. And there is a family slave, has been very favored by Heshen. The slave often rode in his master’s car, which was a violation of the system at that time. When people saw the family slave’s arrogance, they avoided it, and no one dared to stop them from asking questions.

At that time, Xie Zhending was the imperial inspector, one day, he happened to meet this slave in Heshen’s car rushing on the road, see him rampant lawlessness, arrogance and arrogance, immediately ordered someone to pull him off the car, in public flogging punishment.

The slave said angrily: “How dare you hit me! I am riding in my master’s car, and you dare to hit me!” After the slave’s insulting words, Xie Zhending ordered someone to beat him severely and ordered the car to be burned.

The whole street was a sensation, and the people gathered to watch and cheer, saying, “What a good imperial official!”

Touring the landscape, not valuing momentary gains and losses

A few days later, the minister Wang Zhongjian catered to Heshen’s prime minister and found a retaliation to impeach Xie Zhending, who was removed from office.

On the day Wang Zhongjian impeached Xie Zhending, the imperial official Guan Shiming laughed and said, “Today, Wang Zhongjian and Xie Zhending have each lost something! Xie Gong lost, is the official position; Wang Gong lost is the reputation. Official position lost, the impact of a whole; reputation stink, spread to the ages.”

This Guan Shiming is also a wonderful person, he was worried and angry when Heshen was in power, and after ridiculing him, he was demoted to be the imperial historian, but he was so happy that he was too excited to sleep at night, and he got up and started drafting papers to impeach Heshen. However, he was ordered to remain in the military bureau as the military bureau chapter king. The imperial historian who remains on duty at the military machine office is still considered a normal official according to the rules, not counting the establishment of the inspector’s court, and cannot enjoy the impeachment rights of the imperial historian’s secret folded seal. This is the depression of the Guan Shiming, Xie Zhending burned the car is for him out of this mouth.

Xie Zhending loves the landscape, after his dismissal he traveled around Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and everywhere he went, people were eager to welcome and entertain him. Because Xie Zhending was very talented, his articles were also very famous at the time, and people were happy to drink with him to give poetry, book and literature.

Xie Zhending was very generous, and he was a great admirer of temperament, and he had a very low opinion of money. Xie Zhending original savings, travel to Jiang, Zhejiang when all dissipated. Xie Zhending said: “life is expensive in comfortable and comfortable. Silver is just an ordinary thing, what is good to give up?”

Heshen was brought to justice and the “imperial historian who burned the car” rejoined the court

After the news of Xie Zhending’s burning car spread, the people gave him the elegant name “burning car Xie imperial official”, which praised Xie Zhending’s boldness and courage.

In the fourth year of Jiaqing (1799), Heshen was arrested and imprisoned, and was later given death. The court confiscated his family’s assets, totaling one billion taels of silver. The people in the community said, “Heshen fell and Jiaqing ate his fill.”

After Heshen was brought to justice, the Jiaqing Emperor issued a special decree to reassign Xie Zhending to a new official position. After his restoration, Xie Zhending was appointed as a foreign minister of the Ministry of Rites, filling the position of “Sitting Food Hall”, which was mainly in charge of the river work of the Northern Canal, the acceptance and delivery of canal grain, the water and land transfer of canal grain from Tong to Beijing, and the cashier of Tongji Library, and the collection of Tongzhou tax classes. In this process, the officials in charge, brokers and other people took the opportunity to demand a lot of things. Xie Zhending eliminated the bad rules that the officials used to take bribes and levy taxes to collect income, so that the work of measuring the grain into the warehouse was well organized and in good order. This was not easy to do.

Daoguang praised the “Imperial Historian of Burning Carts” and rewarded the descendants of the Xie family

The story of the “Burning Carriage Imperial Historian” is not only an elegant name, but also an inspiring legend that has been passed down in the Qing dynasty palace, even the Daoguang Emperor heard about it when he was a child.

In the 13th year of Daoguang (1833), Xie Zhending’s son Xie Xing, who was the governor of Yuzhou, Henan Province, was recommended to be summoned by the emperor because of his excellent performance, and reported his name and place of origin in accordance with the custom of foreign officials to the emperor.

The Daoguang Emperor heard Xie Zhending’s place of origin and then listened to his accent, which was very different, so he asked him: “You are from Hunan, why can you speak in the capital?” Xie Xing’s son said, “My father, Xie Zhending, was an imperial official, and I grew up in the capital.”

The Daoguang Emperor suddenly remembered and asked him, “You are the son of the ‘Imperial Historian of Burning Cars’?” So he praised and encouraged him severely. The next day, the Daoguang Emperor said to the minister of military affairs, “When I was a child, I heard people talk about the burning of the chariot by Imperial Historian Xie, and my heart marveled at this, and yesterday I saw his son, and my heart was really happy.” Shortly afterwards, the Daoguang Emperor ordered the promotion of Xie Xingjun to be the governor of Xuzhou Prefecture.


Qing Tares Class Notes‧Jingzhi Class Five
The Manuscript of Qing History, Volume 322
Xiao Ting Miscellaneous Records