Crossroads Research

Lecture Series: Refugee, Diamond, Commander, Ethics, Empire: Spanish Drift Ship in 1753 by Cheng-Heng Lu

June 28, 2021: 12:00 MET/CEST via Zoom.


By using Chinese, Manchu, and Spanish sources, this talk examines a drifting ship event in 1753 from Pangasinan to Wenzhou, Zhejiang. The main characters of this event were an alcaldia mayor of Pangasinan of the Philippine of the Spanish Empire, Juan Manuel de Arza y Urrutia, and a commander from a naval admiral family of the Qing Empire, Shi Tingzhuan. Juan Manuel was accidently drifted to Wenzhou in 1753. Based on the idea of the celestial empire, the Zhejiang government helped the Spaniards. Spaniards were lodged within Wenzhou city, so local people were able to observe them with an exotic thoughts. Meanwhile, the Zhejiang government detailed Spaniards’ appearance and dress style due to an imperial task, which was editing Huang Qing Zhi Gong Tu, which was representing the Qing’s features as a universal empire. However, when the Spaniards were transferred to Xiamen, the Fujian government treated them differently and carefully because the Spain’s foe, Sulu, sent envoys to Xiamen and the ban of Catholics just occurred in Fujian. Under the situation in Fujian, Shi Tingzuan was sued to receive gifts from Spaniards, so this unacceptable event made Fujian officials angry. Finally, Shi Tingzuan was fired; Juan Manuel never served as a colonial official anymore due to the unexpected accident. This accident results in the life of two imperial officials, and it offers an opportunity to understand how the local displayed different Qing’s imperial characters due to the different situations through an event of a European drift ship in 1753.

Cheng-Heng Lu is Assistant Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University.

To register for the talk, please send us an e-mail.


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