Captain Andrew Douglas


Captain Andrew Douglas of Mains (lineage uncertain) was involved in the slave trade of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.


A well-known former slave was Scipio Kennedy. He had been brought to Scotland by Captain Andrew Douglas of Mains in 1702 from the West Indies, where he had been transported as a young boy from the African west coast.


In 1705, Scipio joined the family of the Captain's daughter, Jean, who married Sir John Kennedy, 2nd Bt Of Culzean, and it was in Culzean that Scipio got his surname. He stayed in this family for an initial 20 years, during which time he was baptised and probably also received some education. Through his baptism, Scipio was free according to Scots law, so that when he decided after 20 years to continue service with his former owner for another 19 years, this was formalised by an indenture, which is held in the NAS (NAS ref. GD25/9/Box 72/9). Little is known about his later life, though he appears once in the kirk session minutes of Kirkoswald on 27 May 1728 (NAS ref. CH2/562/1), accused of fornication with Margaret Gray, whom he later married. We know from references in the old parish registers that they had at least eight children and continued to live in Ayrshire until Scipio's death in 1774.


The BBC reports that Scipio had been taken from his home in Guinea at the age of six and was granted his freedom at Culzean in 1725.

The work to trace his history was carried out as part of The National Trust for Scotland's Heritage Lottery Fund project This is Our Story, which commemorates the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade.


Scipio was bound for the West Indian plantations when he was bought by Captain Andrew Douglas of Mains in Dunbartonshire.

In 1705, Captain Douglas' daughter, Jean, married John Kennedy and Scipio went with her, eventually moving to Culzean, in Ayrshire.

He took the family surname of Kennedy, learned to read and write and was instructed in textile manufacture.

In 1725, Scipio was given his freedom and a home in the grounds of Culzean Castle. He married local woman Margaret Gray three years later, with whom he had eight children.




1.  Papers on the 'The case of Captain Andrew Douglas, late commander of her Majesties ship the Norwich' are at Kress Library of Business and Economics, Harvard University. This may, or may not, be the same officer.





See also: Douglases and the slave trade

Help wanted!

We would welcome biographical details for this person.

Click to contribute

Please note that if you employ Spam Assassin, or similar email blockers, then you must ensure that you can receive emails from

Errors and Omissions

The Forum

What's new?

We are looking for your help to improve the accuracy of The Douglas Archives.

If you spot errors, or omissions, then please do let us know


Many articles are stubs which would benefit from re-writing. Can you help?


You are not authorized to add this page or any images from this page to (or its subsidiaries) or other fee-paying sites without our express permission and then, if given, only by including our copyright and a URL link to the web site.


If you have met a brick wall with your research, then posting a notice in the Douglas Archives Forum may be the answer. Or, it may help you find the answer!

You may also be able to help others answer their queries.

Visit the Douglas Archives Forum.


2 Minute Survey

To provide feedback on the website, please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey.


We try to keep everyone up to date with new entries, via our What's New section on the home page.

We also use the Community Network to keep researchers abreast of developments in the Douglas Archives.

Help with costs

Maintaining the three sections of the site has its costs.  Any contribution the defray them is very welcome



If you would like to receive a very occasional newsletter - Sign up!
Temporarily withdrawn.


This page was last updated on 15 January 2022

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names




At this stage, the content of this website is a collection of materials gathered from a variety of sources, some of it unedited.

The webmaster does not intend to claim authorship, but gives credit to the originators for their work.

As work progresses, some of the content may be re-written and presented in a unique format, to which we would then be able to claim ownership.

Discussion and contributions from those more knowledgeable is welcome.

Contact Us

Last modified: Monday, 11 October 2021