What does a dockyard Teamer do?

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    Cy Harrison

    I have come across a reference in ADM 6/5/21 to a Thomas Trott being appointed as a ‘Teamer’ at Chatham on 24 May 1698. I have since found a limited number of other references but still have no idea what a teamer does. Could anyone enlighten me, or point me at a period description of the position.

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    Nicholas Blake

    A teamer in 1698 was “A person who drives a team of draught animals; spec. a person employed to cart or transport goods or other materials by means of a horse-drawn vehicle.” says the OED, with these examples:
    1696 in Cal. State Papers William III Domest. (1913) 292 The porter, master-caulker and ‘teamer’ of Deptford Yard were lately summoned to serve upon juries.
    1775 W. Bartlett Let. 11 Dec. in G. Washington Papers (1987) Revolutionary War Ser. II. 529 The Roads being Very bad the Teamers think the Price Stipulated by Our General Court is not Sufficient.

    The teamer at Chatham had his own house: ADM 106/343/2 (7 August 1679) is “Folio 3: William Elfey, Chatham. He asks for the Teamer’s house to be made fit to live in and sends an estimate”, with earlier details in ADM 106/322/304.
    There is a plan of the teamers’ stables at Chatham for 1794-1816 in ADM 140/105.

    Cy Harrison

    Great. I didn’t think to look in a dictionary, Doh!

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