Yes, it is real.
If the water be narrow it is more pleasing for the Troller; for where it is broad and deep there is more uncertainty.
The book is dedicated to James Tryon: “Be pleased therefore to accept of this small Tribute not for any worth or desert of its own but as a Token of my Gratitude.”
In 1272 the manor house at Bulwick was described as ‘a hall and great chamber and kitchen built of cut stone and roofed with stone; and two other houses, being a barn and a cowhouse, thatched with straw’ (PRO, C133/2; NRO, T(B) 2). Nothing remains of this house and its site is unknown. From the 13th century onwards the manor was held first by the Cantelupes and later by the Zouches, whose main residence was at Harringworth. Both manors were bought by Francis Foxley, and after his death in 1617 they were bought by Moses Tryon, a London merchant whose father Peter had come from Flanders in the 1560s. Bulwick continued to be the lesser house. In 1646 it was settled on the wife of Moses’ son Peter who bought Seaton in Rutland in the same year and lived at Harringworth, his son James being a minor.
Apparently in connection with James’ coming of age in 1676 the house was partly rebuilt and enlarged; new gardens were laid out, and the house was formally conveyed to James. This new building forms the main range of the present house, but most of its architectural details have not survived. Before the rebuilding the house had, in 1673, 15 hearths but in 1694 it had 40 rooms, of which about ten may not have been heated (PRO, E179/254/14; NRO, T(B) 567). At this date it had on the ground floor a hall and lobby, perhaps two parlours, and a suite consisting of a withdrawing room, a bedroom and closet. Most of these rooms were doubtless in the main range, the service rooms being behind and to the N. The arcade, with its central gateway and flanking entrance lodges, may have provided a covered approach to the door at the E. end of the long range; inside the progression may have been from the lobby and hall on the E. to a parlour and the suite of rooms on the W.
James Tryon occupied his new house until his death in 1685.
In C17 Tyrons were merchants and relatively recent immigrants from the continent. Two centuries later in C19:
The last major development of Bulwick Hall was undertaken in the early C19 by Thomas Tyron who, in addition to remodelling the interiors, would add the curiously proportioned bowed extension. When he died in 1825 the estate was inherited by his 22-year-old son, also Thomas, whose 47-year tenure as squire ended most abruptly when he was thrown from his horse, perishing instantly.
In stark contrast to the reporting of this unfortunate incident, which received but brief notice in the provincial press, the sensational demise of Thomas’ third son 21 years later would consume a great many column inches in The Times and beyond. For the career of renowned naval commander Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon was to end calamitously and with ‘the largest peacetime loss of life in the history of the Royal Navy’.
Widely regarded as ‘navigation genius’, Bulwick-born Tryon’s instincts were to inexplicably fail him one fateful day in 1893 off the coast of Tripoli. Helming the mighty HMS Victoria he directed a tight fleet manoeuvre that alarmed the officers under him but which, through a combination of faith and fear, they attempted to execute. The resulting collision caused the flagship to sink swiftly with the loss of 358 lives including that of Tryon himself. Remarkably, in 2004 the wreck of HMS Victoria was discovered standing vertically, bow-first in the Mediterranean seabed.