A Manchu Diploma from the collection of the Institute of Oriental manuscripts
(53rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC, St. Petersburg 2010)
The Manchu collection of the Institute of Oriental manuscripts holds 16 bilingual Manchu-Chinese scrolls. Among them is a scroll with Manchu text written inside a painted (not printed) frame on yellow paper. The imperial patent confers Urcen the title “general of the third rank defending the state”. Urcen was the twelfth son of the imperial relative Sunu. The Sunu family of the imperial clan is known for adopting Christianity – Sunu and his sons were baptized by the Jesuit missionaries. They were close to the Emperor Kangxi and shared his interests, but later they fell into disgrace under the Emperor Yongzheng.
The paper will introduce an unknown patent to Urcen from the manuscript collection of the Institute of Oriental manuscripts, RAS, which is dated 1716. It relates to the prosperous period in the history of the Sunu family when it was on the service of the emperor Kangxi. The promotion of Urcen to the higher degree is followed by praising his virtues and devotion to the Imperial court, which he failed to realize later when joined the rivals against the next emperor Yongzheng.