Falmouth Packet Archives 1688-1850
Edmund DUMMER (-1713)
EDMUND DUMMER was officially carpenter of the Hampton Court, but Joseph Allin was actually performing the duties in December 1685, when it was under consideration to fill the vacancy of Master Shipwright at Woolwich owing to the death of Thomas Shish.
To assist the Board of Admiralty in selecting the most suitable officer for this post, the Navy Board supplied them with a summary of the qualifications of the applicants for promotion.
Dummer presented the Navy Board with a written account of his own career. He stated that "he was bred a shipwright under Sir John Tippetts at Portsmouth," and that "he was singled out by the Navy Board for his extraordinary ingenuity to lay down the bodies of the 30 new ships and afterwards sent abroad by the late king for making observations upon all foreign shipping, the effects whereof are now rendered to His Majesty."
[Samuel] Pepys at this time speaks of him as an "ingenious young man but said rarely to have handled a tool."
Joseph Lawrence, the Master Shipwright at Sheerness, filled the Woolwich vacancy. He was succeeded by Daniel Furzer, the First Assistant Master Shipwright at Chatham, and Dummer filled Furzer's vacancy.
Dummer was appointed Assistant Surveyor of the Navy in 1689, and on the death of his old master, Sir John Tippetts, Surveyor of the Navy in 1692, he was promoted to succeed him.
He was suspended from duty in 1698, being accused by one Fitch of several irregularities.
Both Fitch and Dummer appeared before the Board of Admiralty in June 1699, when the matter was under investigation. Dummer denied all of Fitch's charges and said he had commenced a suit at law with him. The Admiralty seemed anxious to get rid of Dummer, perhaps for reasons other than those under investigation, and proceeded with the case, instead of awaiting the result of the civil action at law. They again had the accuser and accused before them for further investigation, and on June 23rd resolved to represent to the King that Dummer was a person not fit to be employed longer in the place of Surveyor of the Navy and that they did not think it fit for the good of His Majesty's Service to take off his suspension or the employing of him again.
This recommendation received approbation, Dummer was discharged and Daniel Furzer, the Master Shipwright at Chatham, succeeded to the vacancy.
The action at law ended in Dummer being awarded £500 damages.
In 1709, he built two sixth-rate ships, the Hind and the Swan, at Rotherhithe.
He was one of the Governors of Greenwich Hospital from 1695 until his death in 1713. In view of his dismissal it is surprising to find that in February 1714, his daughter Jane was granted a pension of £150.
[all above qf. MARINER'S MIRROR, VOL.18 (1932) pp.414-415.]
Note: No mention of how the Post Office packet service was operated to the Groyne (Corunna) from January 1689. ]