The Early Vestries

The first meeting of the Booterstown Parish Vestry was held on 20th July, 1821.  As the building of the church had not yet commenced, the meeting was held in “Sans Souci”, residence of James Digges La Touche.  The Chair was taken by the Venerable the Archdeacon of Dublin who, as Rector of Donnybrook – from which Booterstown had just been severed – was still regarded as Rector of Booterstown.

The only resolution passed at this meeting was one directing that a sum of £62 be raised by Parish Cess (or assessment) to be applotted on the Parishioners towards the building of the Parish Church.

The Easter Vestry of 1824 was held in the Church, practically completed, though not yet opened for Services.  This is the first meeting at which any account is given of the disbursement of monies voted.  Salaries were provided for two now long forgotten offices – a Parish Clerk at £10 per annum, and a Parish Constable at £6 per annum.  The latter’s duties appear to have been, not law enforcement, but the collection of the Parish assessment, or Cess. A Sextoness was appointed at a salary of £6 per annum.

£21 was put aside for silver vessels to be used at Holy Communion.  £50 was the price of a new bell to hang in the steeple, presumably the one which still calls us to prayer in 1984, though now converted to strike electrically.

A Bible was purchased for £6. 5s. 1 ½ d. How the 19th Century loved their half-pennies and farthings!

So began the long series of Vestry Meetings, (many stormy no doubt) which brings us to our monthly Select Vestry in the Parish nowadays.  By the way, when did Vestries become “Select” – this writer has never discovered. Perhaps at Disestablishment?