After combing through various examples in books and documents, the author argues that although the Legislation Commission designated the Xiyuan lu as an“appoffcial manual,”this work was not the unchallenged source of conventional knowledge of forensic medicine. Inheriting the tradition of a more flexible lication of the Xiyuanlu since the Yuan and Ming, in fact the application of forensic knowledge in the Qing Dynasty was more flexible than previously thought. For example, coroners used compilations of cases and folk writings, to supplement deficiencies in the official manual. Coroners also had a certain amount of space in which to practice, and did not rely on a mechanical application based on the Xiyuan lu. The official manuals and folk writings, the experience of coroners and government officials, as well as case compilations, whether as source of knowledge or legal institutions, were important components of forensic knowledge.