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Chapter V

Chapter IV: The Founding of the Monastery


“In presence of these witnesses:—Engelrame, Bishop of Glasgow; Richard, Bishop of St. Andrews; John, Abbot of Kelso; Osbert, Abbot of Jedburgh; Master Mark Salomon, deacon; Elia, clerk; Master John; Alan, my son; Robert de Montgumbri, Baldwin de Bigres, Robert de Costentin, Gaufred de Costentin, Robert, the son of Fulbert; Ewen the son of Donald; Walter de Costentin, Niel de Costentin, Alexander de Hesting, Hugh de Padinan, Richard Wal', Robert Croc, Roger de Nes, Richard, my clerk, and many others.”

The second Charter is as follows—

“GIFT of the Churches of Ennyrwic and Legerdwode, and the carrucate of Hastenden, and all the churches in Stragrif.”

“WALTER, the son of Alan, Stewart of the King of Scotland, to all the sons of Holy Mother Church, greeting. Know that I have given and conceded, and by this Charter have confirmed to God, and Holy Mary, and to the Church of St. James, and St. Mirin, and St. Milburg of Passelet, and to the prior and monks of that place, serving God according to the order of Clugny, for the soul of King David, and King Malcolm, and Earl Henry, and of my departed ancestors ; and for the salvation of my Lord King William, and David his brother, and of myself, and my wife, and my heirs, in perpetual charity, and free from all temporal servitude, the Church of Ennyrwic with all its belongings, and the whole mill, except a mark of silver in it which I have given to Radulph of Kent, and a carucate of land between the sea and the Church of Ennyrwic assigned to them for their support ; and the Church of Legerdwode, with all its belongings, and the carucate of land in Hastenden which Walter the chaplain held by these marches by which he held it, and the Church of Ketkert with all its belongings, and all the churches of Stragrif with all their belongings, except the Church of Inchinan. Besides this I give, and by this Charter confirm to them, a tenth penny of all the rents of my whole land excepting Kyle. I wish and command that the said monks should hold and possess the aforesaid as quietly, freely and peacefully as any abbey in the kingdom of Scotland holds and possesses the charities bestowed on it.

“In presence of these witnesses: Richard, Bishop of St. Andrews; Engelrame, Bishop of Glasgow; John, Abbot of Kelso; Osbert, Abbot of Jedburgh; Master Mark Salomon, deacon; Alan, my son; Baldwin de Bigres, Robert de Montgumbri, Robert de Costentin, Robert the son of Fulbert ; Ewen the son of Dovenald, and many others.

With these great endowments the Convent of Paisley began its career.


[28] The earliest forms of the name of the convent are Paslet, Passeleth, Passelay, Passelet, but in the records, as time ran on, occur many others, e.g. Paslowe, Passleke, Pateslo, Pasle, Paslewe, Parlay, and Paisley. The derivation of the name has been disputed. The following are some of the supposed derivations:—1. Paselet, Gaelic Pais-licht, brow of a rock, from a great ridge of rocks across the river Cart; 2. Pas, a crossing, ferry, and let, a house, in Strathclyde Welsh, the name given to some house at a ferry on the river; 3. Pasgel-laith, British, moist pasture ground ; 4. Bas, Gaelic for death, letum, Latin for death. “On the Romans occupying this part of the country, and hearing the name Bas, referring to some place of execution, they added their own word for death, and called the place Pas-letum, afterwards Saxonised into Passeleth.” There have been other conjectures still more fanciful than the last. The second which we have given is that of Mr. Jamieson, and seems the most likely.