There is a great deal written about the aristocracy and rich people living in 18th century, but much less literature that looks at the ordinary folk going about their normal lives.
The Quarter Session records give a fascinating insight into this aspect of life in the period.
The Quarter Sessions were the lowest level court and were presided over by local gentry. As such, the government used them to run much of local administration of the towns. They were therefore not just concerned with criminal cases coming before them. They also had oversight of the poor law, apprentices, licensing public houses and much else besides. This was a time before the establishment of an official police forces with a duty to investigate crime. If you had been the victim of a theft it was up to you to try and find who was the thief.
The stories that come to us through the records of the Quarter Sessions give a fascinating feel for what it was like to live in a small market town in the 18th century.