Founding date: 1697
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Note there are two Cochran’s estates, the other one is out by Bethesda (#139) and owned by William Cochran’s brother Archibald. There is still a mill at this site and the chimney nearby attests to converting to steam in the mid 1800’s. Both these relics grace the grounds with mounds of bougainvillea, flowering shrubs and trees. The estate house has been rebuilt by Cameron Fraser recently and is situated on the crest of the rise giving an overall view of the estate and over to The Diamond in the valley below. An old postcard taken approximately where the road runs below today, shows the factory, chimney, mill and estate house nearby on the crest of the hill in the distance, with the negro huts in the foreground. These appear to be a mixture of whitewashed stone, wooden shakes and several trash houses, one being propped up by a board on the right. There also appears to be a hut in the making, with the skeletal sticks in place. Other than the many trees to provide shade, it presents a picture of abject poverty.
Estate Related History/Timeline
1714: “Division of an estate of 327 acres (late Mr. William Cochran’s deceased) between Mr. Richard Cochran and Mr. Archibald Cochran, gentlemen, 153 acres surveyed and measured out to each; plan attached. 29 acres purchased by Mr. W. Cochran to go to Mr. R. Cochran. Dated 25th August, 1714.” V.Oliver Vol.I p.141
Both Archibald and Thomas Cochran were given land in Antigua as early as 1671. Archibald Cochran and Thomas Connoway together were given 100 acres at Mosquito Cove initially. There is also a record of Thomas Garret selling to Thomas Cochran of Antigua, a planter, 20 acres at Old North Sound along with several other sales of land which gradually increased their holdings. Archibald Cochran son of Archibald inherited the estate of his uncle William Cochran who owned 327 acres of land and was dead by 1714. He was also Speaker of the House in 1725 and a member of Council in 1717.
1731, March: “Two Youths at Eaton School, of about 12 Years of Age, quarrelling at play, one drew a Penknife and stabbed the other to the Heart, who dy’d immediately. He was the only Son to Mr. Cochran, an Antigua Merchant” Gentleman’s Magazine.
It was quite the norm to draw up ‘indentures’ which allowed the leasing of a plantation, very often due to being an absentee landlord. It was a good way for newcomers to the island to ‘get their feet wet’ and to see if owning a plantation was a way of life for them.
1732: “Indenture made 27th July, 1732 between Archibald Cochran, late of Antigua, but now of Chestnut, Herts, Esq., of the one part, and Rowland Frye of London, merchant, of the other part, witnesseth that in consideration of 5/- and for divers other reasons, Archibald Cochran grants, etc… to Rowland Frye…. all his plantation in the division of old North Sound in the Parish of St. Peter Parham, Antigua…………..and all messages etc., and all negro and other slaves whatsoever …. for one whole year, yielding, etc…..therefore one peppercorn if demanded ….. to the intent that he may be in actual possession.” V.Oliver Vol.I p.142
“1819 – Sam.l Otto-Baijer paid £18,000 for North Sound plantation late of Archibald Cochran, dec. 170 acres, 135 negroes.” Vere Oliver Vol.I
Otto-Baijer told his fellow planters and Governor Ross in the Assembly on September 11, 1833 when the Antiguan planters were persuaded by him to adopt full and immediate abolition of all slaves, without an apprenticeship.
“Gentlemen my previous sentiments on this subject [Emancipation of the slaves] are well known to you all: be not surprised to learn that they have undergone an entire change. I have not altered my views without mature deliberation. For several days past, I have been making calculations with regard to the probable results of emancipation and I have ascertained, beyond a doubt, that I can cultivate my estate at least one third cheaper by free labour, than by slave labour.”
In 1829, this estate contained 328 acres (combined with Pares) – 306 slaves. “1852 owned by Wlm. Pell contained 328 acres.”
In 1833 Parliament finally abolished slavery in the British Caribbean, Mauritius and the Cape. The slave trade had been abolished in 1807 but it took another 26 years to effect the emancipation of the enslaved. The legislation of 1833 was the result of a combination of factors where it was felt that the plantation owners should be compensated for their slaves who were to be freed. The amount of 20 million pounds , a huge amount in those days, was divided up between all slave owners. Aaneas Barkley – absentee/resident? – awardee (mortagagee) Antigua 333 (Cochran’s. Old North Sound) view 758 2087 18s 6d (144 enslaved).
“Elizabeth Mary Otto-Baijer (1810-1887) owned Pares and Cochran’s.” Vere Oliver Vol.I
Pares, Cochran’s, Sion Hill and Mayers owned by Watkin Owen Spencer Pell.
“On my way home this morning, I visited the sick negroes on Cochran’s Estate and was well rewarded….
The sight of the preacher appeared as refreshing to their thirsty souls as the dew of Herman and as the dew that descended upon the mountain of Zion…..was much affected by the simplicity and sincerity of a perfectly helpless old man….”Oh yes, Massa! I love Him! I love Him!, I love Him right down to the bottom of me belly.” Caribbean Adventure, Journal of Thom. K. Hyde p.39 edited by David U. Farquhar.
1839: Cochran’s estate consisted of 329 acres.
1851: The Antigua Almanac shows Cochran’s and Pares of 328 acres owned by Owen Pell.
1871: It was noted that John Souza of Cochran’s was issued a liquor license along with several others of the Portuguese community. It did not mention whether it is was this estate or Cochrans in Bethesda.
1918: In 1918, the labour riots riots came under the Chief of police who was an Irishman and Commander, J.T. Dew.
1941: Antigua Sugar Factory, Ltd. Cane Returns for 1941 Crop. Cochran’s Thomas. Estimated 2518 tons, 120 acres estate, 26 acres peasants on the estate, tons of cane delivered 2567 at 19.26 tons per acre.
1943: The Lands of Antigua & Barbuda Sugar Factory Limited and the Antigua & Barbuda Syndicate Estates Limited (Vesting) Act. All that piece or parcel of land forming part of Cochranes, approximately 220.077 acres as contained in Certificate of Title No.2311943 dated 3rd August, 1943 and registered in Register Book Q Folio 23.
1943: August 1st: Gunthorpes Estates, Ltd. was restructured (see #64 Gunthorpes) into a ‘new’ company renamed Antigua Syndicate Estates, Ltd. The estates of Messrs. Joseph Dew & Sons were Gilbert’s, Pares/Cochran’s, and Comfort Hall/Creekside.
1947: Comfort Hall (#103) (Reg. Book R Folio 52), Pares & Cochran’s (Reg. Book R Folio 53) and Creekside (#28) were transferred to Syndicate Estates with all live and dead stock including machinery. (Happy Hill Vo.22 Folio 597/600). Goodhue Livingston (1867-1951) was a famous architect from New York from the firm Trowbridge and Livingston founded in 1894. Buildings such as the J.P. Morgan building, the Oregon State Capitol and the St. Regis Hotel. Purchased 12-14 acres in 1953 from Syndicate for $570 ($3,600BWI). The Syndicate minutes record that the walls at the old house had been broken down and the stones taken away to repair a siding at Tudway by Mr. Derrick who was unaware of the pending sale to Mr. Goodhue Livingston Jr. Reparation might have to be made. There was no building on the land but an old cistern, wind mill, pipeline and pond.
1955: In 1955, Dr. Tomlinson purchased two hill sites approximately 14 and 20 acres each which the Syndicate sold to him at $5.00 per acre. One of the hills is known as —— Hill.
1969: The Lands of Antigua & Barbuda Sugar Factory Limited and The Antigua & Barbuda Syndicate Estates Limited (Vesting) Act. 30th December, 1969. 18.All that piece or parcel of land forming part of Pares, and Cochran’s, approximately 262.145 acres as contained in Certificate of Title No.1411947 dated 16th April, 1947 and registered in Register Book R Folio 50.
1980’s: As early as the 1940’s up until the 1980’s the field on the corner below Cochran’s would burst into rampant bloom with red Easter lilies every year. The cane field would have been cut by then and the lilies pushed up through the cane trash covering the sloping hillside in the orange red bloom of our Easter lily.. It was a site to see. The field was later ploughed over and they disappeared forever. Peggy Henry.
“Cocobay Cochran” was the nickname of one of the managers of Cochran’s estate – cocobay was the local colloquialism for leprosy. Paddy Simon
Enslaved People’s History
Based on contemporary research, we have little information to share about the enslaved peoples from this plantation at this time. We do know that the estate contained 170 acres and 135 enslaved people in 1819, 328 acres and 306 enslaved people in 1829, and 328 acres in 1852. Furthermore, we know that the estate was awarded £2087 18 s 6 d for the liberation of a number of enslaved people after the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean. We will continue our quest for more information about these vital individuals.
Legacies of British Slave-ownership: Cochrane’s Old North Sound was awarded £2087 18 s 6 d for ? slaves. The awardees were Aaneas Barkly, Henry Davidson and William Davidson.
- 1697: William Cochran. Living in 1697
- 1714: Col. Archibald Cochran d.1736 & Richard Cochran 153 acres to each
- 1777: Heirs of Pare – 1777/78 Luffman map 328 acres (with Pares) 306 slaves
- 1819: Samuel Otto-Baijer (1781-1835) age 55
- 1843: Baijer (leased to T. Foote)
- 1870: Eliz. Otto-Baijer (1810-1887)
- 1852: William E.M. Pell
- 1860: Owen Pell – md. Elizabeth Mary Baijer in 1839
- 1871: Mrs. Owen Pell 1872 Horsford Almanac Steam Works
- 1878: William E. Pell
- 1891: Watkin Owen Spencer Pell
- 1921: J.T. Dew, et al.
- 1933: J.Dew & Sons, Ltd 1933 Camacho map
- 1947: Antigua Syndicate Estates, Ltd.
- 1968: Antigua Government – Crown Land
- 1950: Goodhugh (Goodhue) Livingston (1867-1951) buff and 12-14 acres
- 1974: O.E. Henry sold 2014 buff and surrounding land
- 2011: Cameron Fraser buff site