COCHRAN, JAMES CUPPAIDGE, clergyman and editor; son of Dr William Cochran* and Rebecca Cuppaidge, b. at Windsor, N.S., 17 Sept. 1798; d. at Halifax, N.S., 20 June 1880.
James Cuppaidge Cochran was born within the walls of King’s College, Windsor, Nova Scotia, where his father Dr William Cochran was vice-president. Following a brief period in business he decided on the ministry as a career and entered King’s College in 1821. He completed the requirements for the BA in 1824, but the degree was not conferred until 1825. Ordained a priest of the Church of England on 23 Aug. 1824, Cochran served the first 28 years of his ministry in Lunenburg, N.S. He married Anna Mathilda Power on 15 Dec. 1826, and had 12 children. From 1835 until 1840, Cochran was editor of the Colonial Churchman, a fortnightly newspaper published in Lunenburg. Always a keen student, he qualified for an ma from King’s College in 1835. Throughout his lifetime he demonstrated great interest in his alma mater and served for 25 years as secretary of the board of governors. From 1850 to 1852 he undertook a successful canvass of the diocese of Nova Scotia to raise an endowment fund for King’s College.
In 1852 Cochran moved to Halifax and for the next three years was editor of the Church Times. Here he strove “to make the paper not only the channel of information on all topics ecclesiastical and secular but also to give profitable instruction in righteousness.” His editorials in both the Colonial Churchman and the Church Times exhibit strong views on a wide variety of issues such as temperance, education, and railway policy. These journalistic efforts provide a valuable commentary on social and political conditions in mid-19th-century Nova Scotia. Cochran also gave leadership in various humanitarian and philanthropic endeavours. These included waging a successful campaign to establish an institution for the education of the deaf and dumb and voluntarily serving as chaplain in both the Halifax asylum for the poor and the city prison.
In 1855 he was appointed rector of Salem Chapel, a former Congregational church leased by the Church of England for work among the poverty stricken in Halifax. A successful ministry of 11 years was climaxed by a dispute with Bishop Hibbert Binney* which led to his dismissal in 1866. The controversy stemmed from Cochran’s insistence on wearing a black geneva gown while preaching. Following this incident he and his followers organized Trinity Church – a free-pew church – where he remained until his retirement in 1875. His long career was recognized in 1872 when King’s College conferred upon him the degree dd, honoris causa.
[There are numerous references to Cochran in USPG, SPG, D10, 1, 2. The Andrew William Cochran papers in PAC, MG 24, B16, contain some correspondence between James Cuppaidge Cochran and his brother Andrew William Cochran*. “Recollections of half a century,” a lecture delivered by James C. Cochran at Halifax, 26 Jan. 1864, in manuscript form, is in PANS. His published works consist mainly of collections of sermons; a number of these are in PANS, the Library of King’s College, Halifax, and Acadia University Library, Wolfville, N.S. The pamphlet [Hibbert Binney], Correspondence between the bishop of Nova Scotia and the Reverend Canon Cochran, M.A., touching the dismissal of the latter from the pastoral charge of Salem Chapel, Halifax, N.S. (Halifax, 1866) is in General Synod Archives, Church House, Toronto. w.b.h.]
See also: Colonial Churchman (Lunenburg, N.S.), 1835–40, and the Church Times (Halifax), 1852–55. T. R. Millman, “Canadian Anglican journalism in the nineteenth century,” Can. Church Hist. Soc. J. (Toronto), III (1959), 1–19.