In Ming Dynasty, Huilai Academy Assisted Four Students Passed the Provincial-level Imperial Exam
Huilai county is a historical town of eastern Guangdong and a famous hometown of many overseas Chinese. It has profound history in maritime culture. It was one of key traffic hub of maritime silk road. Huilai Academy was built since the establishment of Huilai county.
In 1588 A.D., four students of Huilai passed the provincial-level imperial exam of Ming Dynasty, which later became a legend among Huilai’s history. Huilai Academy played a very important role in assisting student to pass the imperial exam.
Inside Huilai Academy, there is a Confucian Temple, where a plague inscribed with “Teacher for All Ages” is hanged and the memorial tablet of Confucius is also placed inside.
In 1524 A.D., the royal court established Huilai county, the local government is located at Huilai East.
From 1524 A.D. until the late period of Qing Dynasty, Huilai county was under the governance of Chaozhou.
From 1949 to 1959, some villages or towns of Huilai county had been transferred their jurisdictions to Puning county and Lufeng county.
In 1992, Huilai county was removed from Shantou municipality and became a county under the administration of Jieyang municipality.
Key Historical Figures
The construction, expansion and renovation of Huilai Academy had been through Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. There were several sessions of local governors and local education administrators who had contributed greatly. Let’s introduce some of them and their contributions.
Jiang En, who was the second governor appointed to Huilai county and the builder of Huilai Academy. Governor Jiang took this post in 1525 A.D. and leaved in 1531 A.D., a total of six years in the post of Huilai county governor.
From 1526 A.D. to 1731 A.D., after reconstruction and decoration through 72 sessions of local county governors, Huilai’s government office had already begun to take shape.
Huilai’s government office in Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty is also the current site of county government, Huilai Academy is now Huilai’s No.1 middle school.
Governor Zhang Bingzheng, who was from Shaanxi province, was appointed to be Huilai governor during the period of Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty. During his tenure, he built up the memorial archways of Huilai Academy. There is a pavement in front of Huilai Academy, which connects Qifeng Street and Tengjiao Street. In April of 1680 A.D., governor Zhang built up two memorial archways at the head and tail of this pavement.
Another achievement of Zhang’s governance was that he led and compiled the Annals of Huilai County in 1687 A.D., which is the first annals after Qing Dynasty ruled over China. The Annals of Huilai County contains eighteen chapters and is the earliest historical document of recording the full history of Huilai county.
There were two other officials who are worth to be mentioned, officer Wei Yigong of Putian, Fujian province and officer Zhu Xie of Yuyao, Zhejiang province. They worked hard for the development of Huilai county during heir tenure. In 1539 A.D., Huilai Academy was destroyed by hurricane. In 1540 A.D., they reconstructed the Academy and moved it to the east of Huilai county, where is the current site of Huilai No.1 Middle School. It was also playing a key role in Huilai’s education.