Origins of the Name

The name Cochrane is believed to originate from the lands of Coueran, Cochrane near Paisley in Renfrewshire.It is also believed that some people of the name MacEacherns changed their name to Cochrane when they came to the Scottish Lowlands to conceal their identity. Another theory is that after fighting so ferociously in a battle, an early family member was praised by his leader as ‘brave fellow’. In the Gaelic they spoke he would have pronounced him ‘coch ran’. Another Gaelic manipulation of the words ‘battle cry’ or ‘the roar of battle’ leads to Cochrane.

The first recorded Cochrane in Scotland was Waldeve de Cochrane who witnessed a charter in favour of the 5th Earl of Menteith in 1262.



15th, 16th and 17th 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.

In 1592 the Clan MacKintosh sacked Auchindoun Castle which belonged to the Clan Cochrane.

Sir William Cochrane was created 1st Earl of Dundonald in 1669. After the death of the 7th Earl, the descendants of Sir William’s second son became the Earls.



Napoleonic Wars

The Cochranes are known to have played an important role during the Napoleonic Wars. Most notably Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860) the 10th Earl of Dundonald who joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18. He was known as Lord Cochrane, he became famous when he captured a Spanish Frigate whose crew out numberd his six to one, with 32 heavy guns. He followed this by defending Trinidad Castle against the French in 1808.



Clan Castles

Castles that have belonged to the Cochranes have included: Auchindoun Castle, Johnstone Castle.

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