From Stamps of the World
Formerly and variously known as Paislay, Passelet, Passeleth, and Passelay the burgh's name is of uncertain origin; some sources suggest a derivation either from the Brittonic word pasgill, "pasture", or more likely, passeleg, "basilica", (i.e. major church), itself derived from the Greek βασιλική basilika. However, some Scottish place-name books[which?] suggest "Pæssa's wood/clearing", from the Old English personal name Pæssa, "clearing", and leāh, "wood". Pasilege (1182) and Paslie (1214) are recorded previous spellings of the name. The Gaelic spelling is Pàislig. Paisley is the largest town in the historic county of Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland and serves as the administrative centre for the Renfrewshire council area. The town is situated on the northern edge of the Gleniffer Braes, straddling the banks of the White Cart Water, a tributary of the River Clyde. By the mid-19th century weaving had become the town's principal industry. The economic crisis of 1841-43 hit Paisley hard as most of the mills shut down. The American Civil War of 1861-1865 cut off cotton supplies to the textile mills of Paisley.