Paisley - 'The Prospect of the Abbey & town of Paisley'

Along the north side of the river is Paisley as Slezer saw it. By 1600, Paisley was the most significant settlement in this part of the west of Scotland. When this drawing was made, the town was already developing its reputation as a centre for cotton manufacturing.

Paisley Abbey, seen to the right just above the bridge, was established in 1163. William Wallace was educated in the original building, which was burned down in 1307. In Slezer's drawing was all that remained after restoration, then fire, more restoration, and collapse in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The river, the White Cart Water, is on the far right.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Paisley


To the Right Honourable the Earl of Dundenald, Lord Cochran, &c.


A Monastery in the Barony of Ranfrew, founded by the Steward of Scotland, in the Year 1160. The Monks of Clugny were the first Possessors thereof, then the Cistercians, and after that the Monks of Clugny a second time, who were religious Persons of the Order of St. Bennet, but reformed by Odo Abbot of Clugny in Burgundy, from whence they had their Name.

The Monks of this Place wrote a History of this Nation, commonly called The Black Book of Pasley. At the Reformation it was bestowed on the Duke of Chatterault. Sir Robert Spotswood had this Book in his Library, and after his Murder General Lambert got it, and brought it to England.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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