Pickersgill was the son of Thomas Pickersgill, an architect of York. He was educated at York Grammar School before entering employment at the age of 18 as a clerk in Savings Bank Department of the Post Office, remaining there until 1885. He graduated with a B.A. from London University in 1872 and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1884, and practiced as a Treasury counsel at the Old Bailey.
At the 1885 general election Pickersgill was elected Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green South West. He was regarded as being on the Radical wing of the Liberal Party, and campaigned for reform of criminal law, in particular seeking to end imprisonment for non-payment of debt. He also sought the abolition of the death penalty and the ending of flogging as a punishment. From 1892 to 1895 he was a Progressive Party member of the London County Council representing Hackney Central. At the "khaki" general election of 1900 he lost his seat to a Unionist opponent, but regained it six years later when there was a swing to the Liberals. He held the seat at the two general elections of 1910, but resigned from the Commons by taking the Manor of Northstead in July 1911 in order to take up a post as a stipendary magistrate.
- "Obituary: Mr. E. H. Pickersgill". The Times. 14 October 1911. p. 9.
- Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1886
- "The London County Council Election". The Times. 7 March 1892. p. 10.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Edward Pickersgill
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green South West
Samuel Forde Ridley
Samuel Forde Ridley
|Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green South West
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