Cochrane Family papers, 1777-1957 and undated
Using These Materials
- Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke...
- Cochrane family
- Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane served in the British Navy from 1839-1886, where he fought in the Anglo-Chinese war and rose to the rank of admiral. He was also instrumental in administering the Trinidad Lake Asphalt Company during its early years. His brother, Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane was also active in the Royal Navy from 1847-1873, participating in the British campaign to suppress the slave trade in West Africa during the 1860s. He was also a landowner and landlord of the Redcastle Estate in County Donegal, Ireland, and served in his later years as High Sheriff for County Donegal. The collection contains correspondence, legal and financial documents, notes and writings, notebooks and diaries, clippings, printed books and pamphlets, photographs, maps, charts, diagrams and technical drawings pertaining to the lives and careers of Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro and Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane, and to the Trinidad Lake Asphalt Company. The papers span the years 1777-1957, with the bulk of the collection being dated from 1850-1905, and document the naval careers of Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane and Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane, the role of the Cochrane family as landlords in Western Ulster, and the development of the colonial asphalt industry in Trinidad during the 19th century.
5.5 Linear Feet
- Material in English , Spanish , and French
- Collection ID:
- Scope and Content:
The Cochrane Family Papers span the years 1777-1957, with the bulk of the papers being dated between 1850 and 1905. The collection consists of correspondence; legal and financial documents; personal, naval, and technical notes and other writings; notebooks, diaries, and almanacs; clippings and other saved print material; and photographs, maps, charts, drawings, diagrams, and other visual materials preserved by the Cochranes. The majority of these documents pertain to two members of the Cochrane family: the brothers Admiral Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane and Admiral Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane. The bulk of the papers deal with three principal subject areas: the naval careers of the brothers; family matters and finances, particularly the finances of their Redcastle Estate in County Donegal, Ireland; and business papers and correspondence relating to the family estates and the Trinidad Lake Asphalt Company, established by Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, and continued by his son Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane. The collection is particularly rich in documenting the beginnings of the asphalt industry in Trinidad and land-use issues in Ireland during the 19th century. In addition, Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane was stationed off the coast of West Africa during much of the 1850s and 1860s, and the collection contains a number of documents relating to the British attempts during that time to suppress the African slave trade, an effort in which Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane was active. The collection is divided into three series, the Family Papers Series, the Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane Series, and the Trinidad Lake Asphalt Series, each of which are divided into subseries by format. This division retains the original division of the collection, but researchers should be aware that there is significant crossover between the subject areas of the Family Papers Series and the Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane Series, and those interested in one of these series should be aware that there may be pertinent material in the other.
The Family Papers Series, the largest of the three, documents two main subject areas: the naval careers of Ernest Grey Lambton and Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane, and the family finances relating to the Redcastle estate. The former of these is documented primarily in the Correspondence subseries and the Notes and Writings Subseries, while the latter is most heavily represented in the Legal and Financial Documents Subseries, which contains a number of rental and account books pertaining to the Cochrane and Doherty family estates in Ireland. The Cochranes were all active inventors, and the Legal and Financial Documents Subseries also includes patent forms for a number of inventions, including means of laying telegraph wire and ships' boilers and propulsion. The Notebooks and Diaries Subseries is comprised primarily of bound volumes of writings by Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane, documenting his daily activity and travels, although it does contain two notebooks used by Thomas Cochrane for surveying during his travels in the 1850s and an Irish Land Commission notebook belonging to Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane as well. The two remaining subseries, Print Materials and Visual Materials and Artifacts, are much smaller in size, and contain materials pertaining to both brothers, and to the family more generally.
The Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane Series contains material accessioned separately from the rest of the collection, which documents Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane's naval life and activities off the Western coast of Africa; his correspondence with Richard Doherty (whose daughter he later married) about financial and estate matters in County Donegal; and his time spent as a landlord in County Donegal, where he became High Sheriff and a member of the Grand Jury after retiring from the navy. The Correspondence Subseries contains Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane's correspondence with Samuel W. Blackwall of Sierra Leone; Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane; Thomas Barnes Cochrane; Richard Doherty; and others. Of the other subseries, the Legal and Financial Documents and Visual Materials subseries relate primarily to his life in County Donegal, while the Notebooks and Diaries and Notes and Writings subseries deal more extensively with his earlier naval career and time in West Africa. This series was kept separate from the Family Papers Series to preserve the original order of the documents. As should be clear from this description, however, many of the subject areas of this series overlap with those of the Family Papers Series, and researchers interested in the naval career of Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane or the Cochranes' role as landlords in Northern Ireland should also consult that series.
Finally, the Trinidad Lake Asphalt Series documents the Cochrane family's involvement in the early asphalt industry in Trinidad. The vast majority of the papers included here are those of Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane, who took over the job of overseeing the Cochrane properties and interests in Trinidad after he was invalided during the China wars. However, there are also materials of Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, pertaining to the company. To be found here are business correspondence pertaining to the export of asphalt and bitumen from Trinidad, shipping arrangements, experiments conducted on the potential uses of bitumen from Pitch Lake, and other matters related to the establishment and operation of the business; notes relating to experiments conducted, and to the climate and area; legal documents establishing the company and documenting the extent of the Belle Vue, Mon Plaisir and Esperance Estates in Trinidad; maps and plans of these estates and of Pitch Lake; and two printed volumes and other miscellaneous items pertaining to Trinidad. The material contained in this series should be of interest to those researching the development and early stages of the asphalt industry, and to those interested in colonial business, finance, and resource use during the 19th century.
- Biographical / Historical:
Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald Date Event 1775 Dec. 14 Born to Archibald Cochrane, 9th Earl of Dundonald, and Anne (Gilchrist) Cochrane 1793 Joined crew of H.M.S. Hind, of which his uncle, Sir Alexander Cochrane, was then captain 1796 Appointed lieutenant 1796-1798 Served on the North American station 1798-1800 Served on the French and Spanish coasts during the early years of the Napoleonic wars 1800-1801 Commander of H.M.S. Speedy 1801 Made captain Captured by a French squadron and exchanged 1802-1803 Studied at Edinburgh University 1805 Cruised off the Azores 1806 Cruised in the Bay of Biscay Failed bid at the House of Commons for Honiton 1807 Entered Parliament as a Whig for the constituency of Westminster 1808-1809 Cruised the French and Spanish coasts 1812 Aug. 8 Married Katherine Corbett Frances Barnes ( Kitty Barnes) in secret at Annan, County Dumfries 1813 Appointed flag-captain to his uncle, Sir Alexander Cochrane 1814 Tried for stock-market fraud and conspiracy Expelled from Royal Navy, Parliament, and Order of the Bath 1814-1816 Paid fines through penny subscriptions 1817 Accepted command of the Chilean navy 1818 June 22 Publicly married Katherine Corbett Frances Barnes, daughter of Thomas Barnes of Romford, Essex 1819-1822 Fought for independence for Chile and Peru against the Spanish forces 1823-1825 Fought for independence for Brazil as admiral of the Brazilian fleet 1827-1828 Admiral of the Greek navy 1831 Succeeded to Earldom after the death of Archibald Cochrane 1832 Reinstated in the British navy and promoted to rear-admiral 1847 Reinstated as Knight Grand Cross in Order of the Bath 1848 Returned to command at sea as Commander-in-Chief of the H.M.S. Wellesley 1848-1852 Served on the Wellesley in North America and the West Indies, where he surveyed Pitch Lake, Trinidad, and became involved in the early use of the lake as a source of asphalt 1851 Promoted to admiral 1860 Oct. 31 Died in London Thomas Barnes Cochrane, 11th Earl of Dundonald Date Event 1814 Apr. 18 Born to Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, and Katherine Corbett Frances Cochrane 1847 Dec. 1 Married Louisa Harriet Mackinnon 1885 Jan. 15 Died, succeeded by his son, Douglas Mackinnon Baillie Hamilton Cochrane, 12th Earl of Dundonald Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane Date Event 1824 Sept. 24 Born to Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, and Katherine Corbett Frances Cochrane 1839 Apr. Entered Royal Navy 1854 Promoted to rank of captain Participated in the capture of Bomarsund during the Crimean War 1855 Feb. 7-1856 May 12 Captain of H.M.S. Horatio, a guard ship at Sheerness 1856 May 14-1858 Sept. 8 Captain of H.M.S. Niger in the East Indies and China, where he served in the Anglo-Chinese war 1858 Sept. 8 Invalided 1869 Apr.-1870 May Superintendent of Sheerness dockyard 1870 Made rear-admiral 1873 June 6-1876 Apr. 15 Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Squadron 1876 Made vice-admiral 1881 Promoted to admiral 1886 Retired from navy 1889 Knighted 1905 Aug. 20 Died Ernest Grey Lambton Cochrane Date Event 1834 June 4 Born to Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, and Katherine Corbett Frances Cochrane 1847 Entered Royal Navy 1847-1855 Served on board the ships Victory, Hibernian, and Trafalgar 1854 Aug. 13 Participated in the capture of Bomarsund during the Crimean War aboard H.M.S. Wellesley 1854 Aug. 29 Made lieutenant of the Edinburgh 1856 Served as lieutenant-commander of H.M.S. Chub 1864 Sept. 15 Married Adelaide Blackwall, daughter of Samuel W. Blackwall, Governor of Sierra Leone 1864 Oct. 3 Death of wife Adelaide 1866 Oct. 16 Married Elizabeth Frances Maria Katherine Doherty, only child of Richard Doherty of Redcastle 1868 Apr. 16-1870 Apr. 7 Commander of H.M.S. Petrel off the Cape of Good Hope and West coast of Africa Participated in the suppression of the slave trade 1873 Retired as captain 1879 High Sheriff of County Donegal 1911 Feb. 2 Died at his Redcastle estate, Inishowen, County Donegal, Ireland
- Acquisition Information:
- The Cochrane Family Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1985-1988.
- Processing information:
Processed by Alex Ruch and Loren Crippin, November 2006
Encoded by Alex Ruch
Completed November 2006
Accessions 09/18/1985, 1988-020 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
- Physical Location:
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
Admirals -- Great Britain
Land use -- Ireland
Antislavery movements -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century
Asphalt industry -- History -- 19th century
Clippings (information artifacts)
Trinidad Lake Asphalt Company
Dundonald, Thomas Cochrane, Earl of, 1814-1885
Cochrane, Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro, 1824-1905
Dundonald, Thomas Cochrane, Earl of, 1775-1860
Cochrane, Ernest Grey Lambton, 1834-1911
Great Britain -- History, Naval -- 19th century
Trinidad -- Commerce -- History
Donegal (Ireland : County) -- History
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
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- PREFERRED CITATION:
[Identification of item], Cochrane Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University