Crime and the law
Law and order is a fairly modern concept. Each town or village would have a parish constable appointed by the church vestry at the annual meeting, usually Easter. Every male householder could be expected to serve in this position and it was not paid. It wasn’t until 1839 that Gloucestershire had it’s own police force making the parish constable redundant.
Militia and defences
Of course there have always been battles and wars, but the way soldiers have been recruited have changed over the centuries. Before the Civil War there was no regulated army. Again, every man in the country could be called on to fight which resulted in militia lists and surveys. Ballots would be held in each parish for the required number of men to serve for a period of up to three years. Ages of call up varied from time to time but these lists where they survive give a list of all males over a certain age in a parish. Details do vary, some include number of children, fitness or incapacity. Some men paid for a substitute to serve in their place.