Imperial decrees or edicts. These were issued during the reigns of almost every emperor from the time of the Song dynasty, to every corner of the empire. When received, local and provincial officials were expected to drop everything and carry out whatever direction was contained therein.
The emperors during whose reign each edict below was issued, is listed under the image. Only two do not have names attached. These were all issued by the Qing dynasty; notice that there are two different scripts- Chinese is on the right, Manchu on the left.