Cochrane Clan
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Cochrane Clan Crest
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Cochrane Clan

Cochrane Clan Crest: A Horse passant argent.

Cochrane Clan Motto: Virtute Et Labore (By valour and exertion).

Cochrane Clan History:

The surname derives from the lands of Cochrane ( Old Coueran) in Paisley, Renfrewshire, although there is an apocryphal legend that it originates from two Gaelic words which, when translated into English, mean 'the roar of the battle.'

Walter de Coueran witnessed a Charter in 1262 by Dougal MacSwein to Walter Stewart, 5th Earl of Menteith. William de Coughram rendered homage to Edward I of England in 1296. Robert Cochrane (d.1482), a favourite of James III, was hanged at Lauder Bridge by jealous noblemen led by Archibald, Earl of Angus, known thereafter as 'Bell-the-Cat.'

In the early 17th century, William Cochran of that Ilk died without a male heir and the Chiefship passed through the female line to his grandson, who took the name and coat-of-arms of Cochrane. This grandson, Alexander Cochrane, was a supported of Charles I and became ambassador to Poland for the exiled Charles II.

In 1647, the family was raised to the peerage as lords Cochrane of Dundonald, and William, Lord Cochrane acquired the lordship and barony of Paisley from the Earl of Angus in 1653. The Dundonald estate and castle in Ayrshire had been acquired in the early 17th century and in 1669, William, Lord Cochrane,  was created 1st Earl of Dundonald.

There followed a succession of chiefs who, for their military valour, became known as the 'Fighting Cochranes.'  In 1745, the 7th Earl of Dundonald, a Hanovarian supporter, had his horse shot from under him in Edinburgh by the occupying Jacobite forces.

Archibald, 9th Earl of Dundonald, was a distinguished scientist and inventor, but ran into financial difficulties while experimenting with coated buoys for the Royal Navy; Thomas, 10th Earl (1775-1860) was one of the greatest naval commanders of all time, and, between 1817 and 1828, commanded the Chilean, Peruvian, Brazilian and Greek navies. He was created Marquess of Maranham in Brazil.

Charles Cochrane (1749-81), second son of the Earl of Dundonald, was Captain in the 4th Regiment sent to Boston in 1774. He became a Major in the British Legion of Loyalists, advocated independence of northern Colonies and was killed at Yorktown.  Douglas, 12th Earl (1852-1935)  was a British Army General and commanded the Militia of Canada from 1902 to 1904.

Places of Interest:
Dundonald Castle, Kyle, Ayrshire. Built on the site of an earlier Stewart castle for Robert II in the 14th century. It was purchased by the Cochranes in the 17th century and is now in the care of Historic Scotland.

Auchans, Kyle, Ayrshire. ruins of castellated mansion built for 1st Earl of Dundonald.

The Place of Paisley, Paisley, Renfrewshire. Paisley town house of the earls of Dundonald after 1653.

Lochnell Castle, near Oban, Argyll. Seat of the earls of Dundonald.

Surname distribution in Scotland: The Cochrane surname is most commonly found in Angus (Forfarshire), Dundee City, Stirlingshire, Fakirk, Clackmannanshire, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire.

Buy a Cochrane Clan membership certificate.



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