A meeting of the Hoxne Association was advertised to take place on 11 April, 1817. The Association was a private prosecution association – the idea being, in a time before a nationwide Police force, that members paid a subscription which allowed the association to help pay the expenses of apprehension and prosecution of suspected criminals in their area. In rural areas members tended to be local landowners.
The Annual Meeting was to be held at the Swan Inn in Hoxne, and nearly thirty men (or their executors) were requested to attend. Dinner was at 2 o’clock. (The Ipswich Journal, 5 April 1817, Page 1).
One of those men was James Walne of Syleham. His will, available freely online at the fantastic Norfolk Sources website, shows that he was a gentleman farmer. James married Catharine Corbould (widow) in Starston in 1772, and died in 1836. Among his bequests were cash sums for his son James and daughter-in-law Lydia, the grandchildren of his wife, and Nanny Walne (a widow in Starston).