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Servant of Sir John Kennedy of Culzean

Eight pence quire

Be it kent <known> to all men by their presence, Mr. Scipio Kennedy from Guinea, servant to Sir John Kennedy of Cullean, for as much as in my infancy I was bought and redeemed by Captain Andrew Douglas, father-in-law to ye said Sir John, and was in a certain way of being in perpetual servitude in ye West Indian (?) had it not been my happiness to fallen unto his hands, purchased by his money, with whom I remained for three years or thereabout. At which time I was presented to ye said Sir John and his Lady where ever since I have continued. <I> Received clothing, maintenance and education with more than ordinary kindess and by ye instruction and examples of his family being come to some fitness for service, and having a grateful consideration for what has happened <to> me. In the above respects, notwithstanding of what (?) I might have of freedom by ye law, on account of embracing ye religion of ye country yet that itself being partly owing to their care, having now arrived to ye age of twenty eight or thirty years have maturely and deliberately, without any coercion, restraint or solicitation, bound and hereby (commands?) and obliges me to continue and remain with the said Sir John Kennedy, his heirs and successors, in his service in ye same manner and way he hath hitherto employed me, or any other lawful service I am capable of, and that during the time of nineteen years from and after the (?) date of their presence, the said Sir John being always obliged to continue his use in providing me necessaries and by and (?) to make payment to me the sum of twelve pounds Scots money yearly besides my share of the drink money, under which conditions I oblige me to remain with the said Sir John and his heirs in manner and for the space abovementioned excepting always from this present (?), that in case any extraordinary offer should happen me or other occasion divert me from my service, in that case I oblige me to pay to the said Sir John or his, the sum of five pounds (sterling?) yearly and proportionately during my absence, in the course of my service.

In (?) witness whereof I have (?) those present with my hand at Cullean the sixth day of February one thousand, seven hundred and twenty-five years - before these witnesses John Kennedy of Kilhenzie, Bailie depute of Carrick, and David Dunbar (?) officer, witness and writer hereof

<signed> Shipio Kennedy
J. Kennedy witness
Dd. Dunbar witness
This document is in the Ailsa Muniments, Register House, Edinburgh (GD25/9/72/9). Scipio Kennedy, African servant of Sir John and Lady Jean Kennedy of Cullean.

(?) = Unable to read word in document