Crest Meaning: Cochrane

Posted by admin 29/06/2023 0 Comment(s)

Cochrane Clan Crest


A horse. There are a few possibilities of what this might be referring to. Unfortunately, as the crest and motto are recorded in Nisbett’s 1722 System of Heraldry, it cannot be the most famous horse story related to the Cochranes, in William Cochrane, seven Earl of Dundonald (1729-1758). At the age of 16 he joined the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion under Bonnie Prince Charlie, but at the West Port of Edinburgh he had a horse shot from underneath him, by a gun fired by government forces un the castle.


William Lord Cochrane (1605-1685) raised two regiments during the Civil Wars of the 1640s in Ayrshire. In 1668 he was also made a captain of a troop of gentleman cavalry, raised as a militia force. In 1689, during the first Jacobite uprising, John, Second Earl of Dundonald (1660-1690) was captain of a troop of cavalry in Ayrshire. Then in 1716 John Cochrane, 4th Earl of Dundonald (1687-1720), became colonel of the 4th Scottish Horse Guards (Scots Peerage). The Horse is likely to have been chosen by one of these given their military careers.


The Chiefly coat of arms feature three Boars’ Heads, said to refer to the exploits of a Cochrane warrior in slaying THREE boars said to have been terrorising the countryside. This is a fairly common story among the boar-bearing families of Scotland (see Baillie, Campbell, Chisholm), although probably has more to do with a relationship with the Gordons and Swintons (and hence a pun on ‘Swine’).


The motto is ‘Virtute et Labore’ (‘by virtue and work’), ie the family’s success is based upon their innate good quality, but also their hard graft.


MKP 29 June 2023