A county had a Lord Lieutenant.
He recommended JPs, commanded the militia, and had patronage at his disposal. Some people were LL of more than one county.

Sheriffs were next rank down. Resp. for running elections.

JPs had to have an estate of at least 100 pounds per annum. They could issue warrants for arrest and punish misdemeanors. They could send on more serious cases to the county assize for judge and jury trial.
They fixed local wages and prices, apprenticeships, constables, highway maintenance, markets, fairs etc. Administered the Poor Law.

Towns had town councils, and parishes had parish councils, with officers elected, or appt. by the JPs. Churchwardens, constables, highway surveyors, overseers of the poor etc. Often unpaid, but the hwy surveyors could claim 6 days labour from parishioners.

Poor Law. A person had right of relief in one place only, and in theory needed permission to leave if receiving relief.