In the 1820s the Church of Ireland was the State Church and was obliged to file statutory vestry returns. Those for 1827 have survived and have been digitalized by the University of Southampton as part of their project in relation to Parliamentary papers.
The Vestries performed a religious function in relation to the church but the parish was also an administrative unit. It was charged under statute for example to provide coffins for the poor and also for the maintenance of foundlings. The Church of Ireland in many areas also registered deaths for example the Macroom records which have survived ow burials from the early 18th century and by name the bulk of the dead are Catholic. In these records some of the Vestries had on the same day a separate vestry with Catholic parishioners in attendance to approve Tithe Allotments, matters relating to foundlings etc such as Innishanon April 1827, coffins for poor, also Kinsale April 1827.
Particular parishes such as St. Nicholas, Cork provided for a fire engine £20, pew opened £10 (found in a few parishes), foundlings £20 nurse fro same £4. St. Peters Cork, £36 beadles, teaching boys to sing also Youghal. fire engine. Holy Trinity Cork nurse for foundlings £25, engine keeper £21, repairs £3,500.
Fanlobbus (Dunmanway) £19 to make up losses from failure of Leslie Bank Cork on 1826 collection, a special vestry in September 1827 to provide parish overseers to enforce Sunday observance. Rincurran £2.2 for expenses of mourning the duke of York. Tullagh (Ross) a watchhouse in graveyard, Youghal parish children £60, Clonpriest, £5 to Michael Henesy as a mark of probation for his humane and effectacous attendance of the sick poor especially in cases of fever. Marmullane expenses £15 for Michael McCarthy schoolmaster and parish clerk
Co, Cork starts at p 120. The general pay for parish clerk is £10 per annum, there is provision for the maintenance of foundlings and the general run of church maintenance. Country church seems to have been whitewashed and there are frequent reference to whitewashing. The failure of Leslie’s Bank in Cork a mini Anglo Irish of its day caused the Vestry of Dunmanway (Fanlobbus) to make provision for loss. The names of the church wardens is given which is an interesting genealogical source.