SHIJIAZHUANG, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- In a farmer's home in north China's Hebei Province, resides an well-preserved imperial decree issued over 300 years ago.
Wu Ruxiang, 75 of Linxi County, said the decree was granted to his ancestor during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) praising him as an official and his wives.
The decree was written on 1.2-meter scroll and endorsed by Emperor Kangxi in 1684, said Yang Zunyi, a local history enthusiast.
Composed of 325 Chinese characters and a Manchu version, the decree describes county head Wu Chenglong of Nanchuan county in Sichuan province as "capable" and "never forgetting his responsibility to the people." His late wife surnamed Liu and second wife surnamed Chen were described as "virtuous and devoted" for preserving excellent house-keeping traditions.
In the decree, the emperor conferred Wu the title of "Wenlinlang," a bureaucratic rank, and honored his wives as "ruren," a title usually conferred on officials' wives.
Zhang Xia, curator of the county cultural center, said Wu was a renowned family in Qing Dynasty, with six members in four generations being officials.
"The decree has provides historical references to the official ranks and the social culture of Qing Dynasty," said Zhang.