Clan Cochrane

Clan Cochrane
Clan Cochrane
Crest badge
Clan member crest badge - Clan Cochrane.svg
Crest: A horse passant Argent
Motto: Virtute et labour
Region Lowlands
District Renfrewshire

Earl of Dundonald Coat of Arms quartered with Blair.svg
The Rt. Hon. Iain Alexander Douglas Blair Cochrane
The 15th Earl of Dundonald,
and 6th Marquess of Maranhão
Seat Lochnell Castle.[1]
Historic seat Auchindoun Castle

Map of Scotland showing the district of Renfrewshire, where the Cochranes lived.

Clan Cochrane is a Lowland Scottish clan.




Traditionally the original ancestor of the Clan Cochrane in Scotland was a Scandinavian Viking who settled in what is now known as Renfrewshire.[2] It is evident that the name is of territorial origin and that the Cochranes took the name of the lands in the ancient Barony of Cochrane. The origin of the name itself is believed to be derived from two Gaelic words which jointly mean The Roar of the Battle or Battle Cry.[2]

The Cochranes do not appear on any written record until 1262 when the name of Waldenus de Coveran occurs on an ancient charter for a grant of land to Walter Stewart the Earl of Menteith.[2]

Other early bearers of the name are William de Coughran in 1296; and Robert de Cochrane in about 1360.[3]

15th and 16th centuries

In 1456 Robert Cochrane of Cochrane resigned the lands of Cochrane to his successor Allen Cochrane who received a charter from King James II of Scotland. Edward Cochrane was accused but cleared of having anything to do with the detention of King James III of Scotland at Edinburgh Castle in 1482.[2]

In 1556 William Cochrane, chief of Clan Cochrane obtained a charter of confirmation for the lands of Cochrane from Mary, Queen of Scots.[2]

In 1584 chief William Cochrane, along with seceral others was charged with being involved in the murder of Patrick Maxwell but Cochrane was never brought to trial.[2]

In 1592 the Clan MacKintosh sacked Auchindoun Castle which belonged to the Clan Cochrane. Also in 1592 chief William Cochrane built a high free stone tower, known as Cochrane Tower or Cochrane Castle.[2]

17th century and Civil War

During the Civil War of the 17th century the Clan Cochrane supported the royalist cause.[2] Throughout the war clansman Sir John Cochrane travelled extensively abroad as the king's representative.[2] The chief 'Lord Cochrane' fought in the royalist army at the Battle of Preston (1648).[2]

In 1669 the Cochrane chief's title was raised from a Lord to an Earl when Sir William Cochrane was created 1st Earl of Dundonald. After the death of the 7th Earl, the descendants of Sir William's second son became the Earls.[2]

18th century and Jacobite risings

During the Jacobite rising of 1745 – 1746 the main part of Clan Cochrane supported the British government and in the government army under General Sir John Cope there were two Cochrane officers; Captain John Cochrane and Captain Basil Cochrane, both were clansmen related to the chief, Earl of Dundonald. Both were taken prisoner at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. However on the Jacobite side William Cochrane of Ferguslie shared in the victory.[2]

Later throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Cochranes distinguished themselves in both land and naval forces, and came to be nicknamed the "Fighting Cochranes.[2]

The Cochranes are known to have played an important role during the Napoleonic Wars. The most noteworthy of these fighting Cochranes was Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald (1775–1860) who joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18. The high point of his career was when a brig under his command with a crew of only fifty-four managed to capture a Spanish frigate with a crew of over three hundred sailors and 32 heavy guns. He followed this by defending Trinidad Castle against the French in 1808.[2] He later became the commander of Chile's navy and assisted that country, along with Peru, Brazil and Greece, to become independent. He was known as Lord Cochrane. He is buried at Westminster Abbey in Westminster, London.[2]

20th century

The father of the present chief, who was the fourteenth Earl served with the Black Watch, then during World War Two, he served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Greece. When the war ended, he served with the War Office and in Germany until he retired in 1953. Sir Ralph Cochrane the youngest son of Thomas Cochrane, 1st Baron Cochrane of Cults, was a British pilot and Royal Air Force officer, perhaps best known for his role in Operation Chastise–the famous "Dambusters" raid.[citation needed]

Clan Chief

The chief of the Name and Arms of Cochrane is Iain Alexander Douglas Blair Cochrane, 15th Earl of Dundonald, 10th Baron Cochrane of Dundonald as well as 10th Baron of Paisley and Ochiltree. He is also the 5th Marquess of Maranhão in Brazil.[4]

Clan Castles

Castles that have belonged to the Cochranes have included:

see also Dundonald Castle.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "The Fighting Cochranes. A Scottish Clan with over six hundred years of Naval and Military History”. By Alexander Cochrane. ISBN 0907621198.
  3. ^ Reaney, Percy Hilde; Wilson, Richard Middlewood (1991) (PDF). A Dictionary of English Surnames (3rd ed.). London: Routledge. p. 695. ISBN 0-203-99355-1. 
  4. ^ "Dundonald, Chief of Cochrane". Burke's Peerage and Gentry ( Retrieved 15 February 2009. 

External links

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