He became clerk in a government office in 1798, and for a time was secretary to Lord Dartmouth, when president of the Board of Control. In 1812 he was appointed commissioner of hackney coaches, and later he became deputy surveyor-general of the royal parks and palaces. On the abolition of this office he retired on a pension, and he died at Brighton.
The result of his interest in the habits and characteristics of animals was a series of pleasant and popular books on natural history, the principal of which are:
- Gleanings in Natural History (1832–1835)
- An Angler's Rambles (1836)
- Anecdotes of Dogs (1846)
- Lectures on Natural History (1863)
He also edited Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler, Gilbert White's Selborne, and Leitch Ritchie's Windsor Castle, and wrote a number of handbooks to places of interest, including Windsor and Hampton Court.
His son, John was a noted historian.
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Jesse, Edward". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press