John Dundas Cochrane

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Captain John Dundas Cochrane, R.N.

Captain John Dundas Cochrane (14 February 1793 – 1825) was a Scottish officer in the Royal Navy, traveller and explorer. An illegitimate son of Scottish adventurer Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone, John Dundas Cochrane came from a large and adventurous family - he was a cousin of Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, and nephew of Admiral Sir Alexander Forrester Inglis Cochrane, John Dundas Cochrane crossed France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Russia and Asia to Kamchatka on foot, hence his nickname of the "Pedestrian Traveller" ("voyageur pédestre" in France).

After returning to England in 1823, John Dundas Cochrane published his travels in Narrative of a Pedestrian Journey through Russia and Siberian Tartary, to the Frontiers of China to the Frozen Sea and Kamtchatka ( 2 vols., London, 1824).

VOL.I [1] MSN scanned full text and a free book. Note: This shows image of Captain J. D. Cochrane at beginning.

VOL.II [2] MSN scanned full text and a free book. Note this shows image of his wife, Mrs. Cochrane, at beginning.

These two volumes are not identical and include some of the captain's travels and experiences as well as his motives for traveling by foot over vast distances in harsh terrain.

Cochrane married Ksenia Ivanovna Loginova (1807-1870) in 1822; she was an adoptive daughter of Admiral Pyotr Rikord, the Russian governor of Kamchatka. As a widow, she married Pyotr Anjou, an Arctic explorer and Russian admiral.

John Dundas Cochrane died in 1825 in Valencia, Colombia while in transit, again on foot, to his family's mining interests in South America.


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Syrett and DiNardo (eds), The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy (2nd edition Navy Records Society 1994)
  • Cochrane, Alexander, in collaboration with the 14th Earl of Dundonald, "The Fighting Cochranes: A Scottish Clan over six hundred years of naval and military history" 1983, Quiller Press, London ISBN 0-907621-19-8 - note that the 'family tree' of naval officers in this volume gives inaccurate dates and descent for this entry
  • Reay, Justin, '"The Fighting Cochranes" : a Naval Dynasty like no Other', Trafalgar Chronicle 2012, The 1805 Club (forthcoming)
  • Howe, Henry "The Travels and Adventures of Celebrated Travelers in the Principal Countries of the World. (1870)

Further reading[edit]

  • Ranscombe, Peter (Autumn 2014). "The wanderer". Scots Heritage Magazine. 65: 48–53.