Edmund was the son of William Boulnois of St John's Wood, the proprietor of the Baker Street Bazaar, Marylebone, London . He was educated at King Edward's School, Bury St. Edmunds and St. John's College, Cambridge. He graduated with a BA degree in 1862, going on to gain a MA in 1868. In 1863 he married Catherine Bennett of Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
He succeeded his father as owner of the Bazaar and was also chairman of the West Middlesex Waterworks Company, a director of the London Life Association and of the Westminster Electric Supply Corporation.
Boulnois was elected to the Marylebone Board of Guardians, of which he became the chairman. In 1880 he was appointed a justice of the peace for Middlesex. A member of the Conservative Party, at the 1886 general election he acted as election agent for Frederick Seager Hunt, member of parliament for Marylebone West.
The Local Government Act 1888 created a new London County Council, with the first elections held in January 1889. Boulnois was chosen by the Marylebone Constitutional Union to contest the electoral division of Marylebone West. He was elected as a member of the Conservative-backed Moderate Party, which formed the opposition group on the council.
In July 1889 the sitting Conservative member of parliament for Marylebone East, Lord Charles Beresford, resigned his seat on becoming captain of the HMS Undaunted. Boulnois was chosen by the party to contest the resulting byelection. He held the seat with a majority of 493 votes, defeating the Liberal Party candidate, Granville George Leveson-Gower. Boulnois held the seat until the 1906 general election, when he retired from parliament.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Lord Charles Beresford
|Member of Parliament for Marylebone East
1889 – 1906
Lord Robert Cecil
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 1)
- "Obituary: Mr Edmund Boulnois". The Times. 8 May 1911. p. 11.
- Plarr, Victor G (1899). Men and Women of the Time. A Dictionary of Contemporaries. (15 ed.). London: Routledge. pp. 116–117.
- "BOULNOIS, Edmund". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. December 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Boulnois, Edmund (BLNS857E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "Election Intelligence. Marylebone (East)". The Times. 20 July 1889. p. 7.
- "Municipal Government of London". The Times. 14 February 1884. p. 10.
- "Middlesex Sessions". The Times. 23 March 1880. p. 10.
- "The General Election". The Times. 2 July 1886. p. 6.
- "London County Council". The Times. 20 November 1888. p. 10.
- "Election Intelligence". The Times. 12 July 1889. p. 9.
- "The London Borough Councils. Election Of Mayors And Aldermen". The Times. 10 November 1900. p. 14.