Cochrane Clan Crest: A Horse passant argent.
Cochrane Clan Motto: Virtute Et Labore (By valour
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
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.