Chinese rebels. The word means Universal Peace, and arose thus: Hung-sew-tseuen, a man of humble birth, and an unsuccessful candidate for a government office, was induced by some missionary tracts to renounce idolatry, and found the society of Taë-ping, which came into collision with the imperial authorities in 1850. Hung now gave out that he was the chosen instrument in God's hands to uproot idolatry and establish the dynasty of Universal Peace; he assumed the title of Taë-ping-wang (Prince of Universal Peace), and called his five chief officers princes. Nankin was made their capital in 1860, but Colonel Gordon (called Chinese Gordon) in 1864 quelled the insurrection, and overthrew the armies of Hung.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894