Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
drclaw

Order of the Double Dragon - Chinese recipients

Recommended Posts

The Order of the Double Dragon was instituted in 1882 as an award exclusive to foreigners.

Sir Robert Hart, who designed the order, pushed for it to be extended to Chinese citizens. In 1886, he wrote in a letter: "I am also going to get it suggested to the [Zongli] Yamen that, in order to make the [Double Dragon] better known and give it standing abroad as a Chinese decoration it would do well to cause each Chinese Minister abroad to wear it!". Given the entrenched conservatism of the Qing court, his advice was not acted upon for over 20 years.

The accepted view is that the Double Dragon was extended to Chinese citizens in August 1908. In his excellent 2002 JOMSA article, King Kwok referred to the Qing decrees that it was intended that awards be restricted to Chinese diplomats abroad and to local officials responsible for managing foreign affairs. Court records however indicated that the award to Chinese citizens was not limited to these two categories. Chinese recipients included for example Manchu princes; officials in charge of the Army Department and the Agriculture, Industry and Commerce Department; the Admiral of the Imperial Fleet Duan Fang; and the Captain of the Cruiser Hai Qi, the most powerful warship in the Imperial Fleet after the Sino-Japanese War in 1894.

Unlike the awards of the Early Republic, the Double Dragon was very sparingly conferred on Chinese citizens - only on Manchu princes and senior officials. Photographs of Chinese recipients are therefore rare. Here are the images I've managed to find.

First, Manchu princes resign en-masse after the Revolution. Princes Zaixun (third left) and Zaitao (fifth left) were brothers of the regent and uncles of Emperor Puyi. Both received Ministerial posts in the reorganised Imperial Cabinet of April 1911, which included eight Manchu princes, one Mongol and just four Han to the fury of the Han Chinese that made up over 90 per cent of the population. Prince Zaixun was appointed China’s first Minister of the Navy in December 1910 and is seen wearing the uniform of an admiral. Zaixun and Zaitao received the First Class, Second Grade Double Dragon in 1909 and four of the princes are wearing Double Dragon insignia.

The individual on the far left is wearing the five-petal neck badge of the Second Class. He appears to be Yinchang, who was Minister for War. He was a senior Manchu but not a Prince which explains why he is wearing the Second Class and not the First.

Four are also wearing the Imperial Nobility Badge introduced in 1909. That insignia was later adopted by the Republic as the Order of Rank and Merit in 1913

Edited by drclaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prince Zaitao, brother of the regent Prince Chun and uncle of Emperor Puyi, wearing the Second Type, First Class, Second Grade Order of the Double Dragon and the Imperial Nobility Badge. Zaitao enjoyed a long and distinguished career that encompassed the Guangxu era, the Xuantong Emperor and post-Imperial China. He served the Nationalist Government and was appointed a member of the National People’s Congress after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. An accomplished Beijing Opera performer and martial artist, he died in Beijing in 1970 at the age of 82

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Qing General Wu Luzhen, wearing a Second Type, Second Class breast star. Wu Luzhen studied in Japan as an army cadet before secretly returning to China to lead a failed rebellion in 1900 to restore the Guangxu Emperor to power. In later years, he held various military positions before gaining command of the 6th Division of the Manchu Field Army in 1910. During the 1911 Wuchang Uprising, Wu Luzhen planned to join the Rebellion by leading the 6th Division to Hubei Province. However, he and two of his staff were assassinated by his chief bodyguard Ma Buzhou, reputedly on the orders of Yuan Shikai.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A stunning image of an individual wearing Qing robes together with the Double Dragon.

Also another of the same individual in Western dress.

Lu Zhengxiang wearing a Second Type, Second Class, First Grade breast star. Lu Zhengxiang (1871-1949) was a Qing diplomat whose reformist mentor Xu Jingcheng was executed by the Imperial court during the Boxer Rebellion. He was a Roman Catholic like his mentor and never forgave the Manchu court. When the 1911 Revolution broke out, he was Ambassador in St Petersburg and took it upon himself to cable Beijing that the Western Powers would not intervene on the side of the Dynasty. This added considerable strength to the revolution. Lu later served twice as Premier of the Republic of China before becoming a Benedictine monk and priest in Belgium where he died.

The image with the Qing robes is dated The Hague 1906. This is interesting in two ways. Lu was the Qing delegate to the Hague Convention but only in 1907. It also predates the 1908 date that is the consensus date for when the Double Dragon was extended to Chinese citizens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi DrClaw,

the picture in Imperial robes must have been taken after 31 August 1907. Lu is wearing on his right upper breast the oval commemorative medal of the Second International Peace Conference, which was awarded by the Netherlands government to the delegates of the conference. The Heads of Delegation (Mr. Lu was Head of the Chinese delegation) received their medal during a banquet offered by the Netherlands government on 31 August 1907.

Regards,

Pieter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well spotted Pieter he is also wearing a lovely jewelled non-Christian St. Anne around his neck.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well spotted Pieter he is also wearing a lovely jewelled non-Christian St. Anne around his neck.

Paul

I take it that a 'non-Christian' St. Anne is one awarded to a non-Christian. However, we learn above that Mr Lu was a Roman Catholic. I wonder if the Russians made an unfortunate assumption as to his beliefs or is there more to it than that, do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I don't think that it is impossible to determine (by this photo) what version of 2nd class St. Anna Mr. Lu is wearing...

But I have serious doubts that Imperial Chapter cared much about actual faith of Mr. Lu :whistle:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Pieter, well spotted. That solves that little mystery of the dating of the photo.

Another interesting fact. Lu Zhangxiang's mentor Ambassador Ju Jingcheng, a fellow Catholic, submitted a memorial to the Qing Court in 1896 suggesting minor changes to the award categories / criteria for the Double Dragon.

Four years later, he and four other senior officials were executed by the Empress Dowager in August 1900 for urging the Court to stop the attacks on the foreigners.

According to trusty Wiki, Ju Jingcheng took an interest in Lu when the latter was posted to St Petersburg in 1893 - where Ju was Minister - as an Interpreter (fourth class).

Here's a photo of Ju.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But I have serious doubts that Imperial Chapter cared much about actual faith of Mr. Lu :whistle:

Disappointing but probably correct :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I checked article 4 of St.Anna statute (1845).

It is simply states that

"On orders ... bestowed to non-Christians images of St.Anna and Cross are replaced with the image of Imperial Russian Eagle"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yinchang (1859-1928) was a Manchu who served as Qing Minister of War shortly before the outbreak of the 1911 Revolution.

After the Revolution, he was made a full General by Yuan Shikai and appointed Chief Military Aide-de-camp to the President. He later became Chief of the General Staff and in 1923 received the title of Marshal.

He is wearing the sash badge of the Second Class Double Dragon around the neck as was common practice at the time.

He also appears to be the gentleman on the far left in #1 wearing the five-petal Second Class badge around the neck. Yinchang was a senior Manchu but not a prince so that explains why he is wearing the Second Class, not the First Class.

From Wiki:

In the Qing Dynasty In the beginning Yinchang was a student of Guozijian. In 1872 he learned the German language at the Tongwen Guan, Beijing. In 1877 he was sent to Germany as a third-class of secretary-translator of the Chinese Legation at Berlin. During his stay in Germany he studied military science and subsequently married a German wife. In 1884 he returned to China, on same December he was appointed a translator for the Germany military officer who posted to the Qing Dynasty.

In June 1885 Yinchang was appointed a translator of the Tianjin Military Academy, later he was promoted to the manager of this school. The late President of the Republic of China Feng Guozhang was a student under his direction. In winter 1899, he took charge of the negotiation about railways and mines in Shandong with Germany, and signed the constitution for railways and mines in Shandong (山東路礦章程). In 1901 he became a Deputy Lieutenant-General commanding the Plain White Banner Garrison (正白旗漢軍副都統).

In 1901 Yinchang accompanied Zaifeng, Prince Chun to Germany with the special mission to convey China's regret about the Boxer Rebellion. In same July he was appointed the Chinese Minister to Germany (Berlin) and therefore didn't return to China with the Prince. On next month he also held the Chinese Minister to Netherlands. In 1905 he was recalled and returned to China. At the end of the year he was appointed the director of the Nobles' College (貴冑學堂總辦). In September 1906 he became Commander-in-Chief in Jiangbei (江北提督), and two months later, was (right) vice-president of the Army Board (陸軍部右侍郎). In September 1908 he was reappointed to the Chinese Minister to Germany (he duly went to post in Spring 1909). In March 1910 he was recalled and returned to China for appointing to the acting President of the Board of War (陸軍部尚書).

In the Xinhai Revolution and the Beiyang Government In September 1910 Yinchang became Inspector-General of all the Army divisions stationed the vicinity of Beijing (訓練近畿陸軍各鎮大臣). Three Months later, he was given the Portfolio of War. In May 1911 Yikuang, Prince Qing established his Cabinet, Yinchang stayed in office. On the outbreak of the Xinhai Revolution in same October, Yinchang tried to quell the revolutionary army in Hubei, but he couldn't command the army of Qing Dynasty which was influenced by Yuan Shikai. In next month Yinchang resigned from his post, while Yuan established his Cabinet.

After the establishment of the Republic of China, Yinchang was invited to the High Diplomatic Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In December 1912 he was made a Full General and was appointed to the head of a military burearu to the President's Office (總統府軍事處處長). In May 1914 he was appointed to Chief Military Aide-de-Camp to the President by Yuan Shikai. In December 1917 he became Chief of the General Staff. In January 1919 he was reappointed to Chief Military Aide-de-Camp to the President by Xu Shichang. In October 1923 he was received the title of Marshal with "Zhuang Wei" (莊威將軍). He died at Beijing in 1928.

Edited by drclaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An unidentified Qing officer wearing the Double Dragon breast star.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Ying Chang was not a prince of the Imperial family but he was a prince of the Plain White Banner Clan, which may explain why he wore a medal of the second order. Could anyone provide the date and location of this photograph?

post-11630-0-23855500-1383180114.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A pictorial history of China that I have simply has the caption "Manchu Princes resign en masse with the abdication of the monarchy". In the absence of more detailed information, we could probably date the photograph to February 1912, Beijing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One has to be a bit careful.. it could be a stock photo in lack of one linked to the actual resignations.

That often happens with sudden events and a need for a photo for illustration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×