At the start of the Ming Dynasty, all bureaucrats and subjects used Secret Memorials to communicate with the Emperor. As the Qing Dynasty inherited the Ming tradition, central and local bureaucrats submit Routine Memorials to the Emperor for routine business and submit Secret Memorials for private business. Official seals cannot be used on Secret Memorials. The submission process for Secret Memorials are the same as for Routine Memorials. The distinction between routine and private business has been emphasized and re-emphasized multiple times in the Yongzheng era: routine business includes bureaucrat impeachment appeals, finances and food supply, military supply and enlistment, thefts and murders, judicial decisions, as well as celebrations, post inaugurations, outgoing bureaucrats; Secret Memorials can only be used in occasions such as promotion or demotion, and bureaucratic records. However, since the distinction between routine and private business is quite ambiguous, even experienced bureaucrats sometimes make mistakes. Hence, in the November of 1748 (Year 13 of Qianlong), the Emperor abolished the Secret Memorial system and use Routine Memorials for all subjects for convenience. That was the formal end of the long-established tradition of Secret Memorials.
- Item No.
On September 18, 1728 (Year 6 of Yongzheng), Zuxun Chen submitted a Secret Memorial to express gratefulness towards the Emperor for his post transfer as the Jinmen Commander-in-chief in Fujian. The Memorial has "Memorial" written on the cover page, and the Chinese red endorsement is "Inform the corresponding department". (Registration Number: 011382)
- Item No.
On July 29, 1669 (Year 8 of Shunzhi), the Provincial Governor of Henan Jindao Wu requests for retirement on grounds of old age and illness. (Registration Number: 085409)