Lin Qing's Hermitage

The Linqing Palace (Palace of the Clear Spirit) was built in Lingjing Alley in the West City District during the Ming Dynasty. Peasant leader Lin Qing, who plotted to overthrow Emperor Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty, and subsequently renamed in Lin's honor, used it centuries later as a hideout.

Lin Qing (1770-1813), born in Songjia Village near Beijing, left his village early to try his hand at several trades in the capital. Back home, he joined the Kan Diagram Sect of the Taoist Eight Diagrams Religion. Crop failures around the turn of the century led to political instability; Lin and his cohorts began to plot their uprising, remaining their sect the Religion of Heavenly Reason.

Two eunuchs working in the Forbidden City joined their group and as spies helped coordinate outside activities. Lin sent believers with white flags around the county to spread the word. Everywhere people began to chant:" If you want to pay less for flour, give Lin Qing ruling power."

The peasant troops entered the capital disguised as businessmen, dealers and coolies, but because of a breakdown in communication, less than 100 insurgents came on time. Storming their way from separate points into Forbidden City, they kept up a brave battle through the night until the bitter last when Qing guards put an end to their insurrection at dawn. Lin Qing was executed, and the Linqing Palace was destroyed. Today the ruins remain as a reminder of the past.


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