Boulter was born in about 1635. His father was a maltster and twice mayor of Abingdon; his mother was sister of merchant and financier Sir John Cutler. As a teenager Boulter was apprenticed to the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, one of London’s great livery companies, and he went on to pursue a successful business career.
Edmund Boulter was elected a City of London Lieutenant in 1690, 1694, 1704 and 1708 and chosen as Sheriff of London in 1694 (not fulfilled as he paid a fine to be released from the obligation).
His uncle, Sir John Cutler, died in 1693 leaving a vast fortune. When Sir John’s childless daughter died less than four years later Edmund Boulter came to inherit the landed estates at Gawthorpe and Wimpole. These were in addition to property that he held (or came to hold) in London, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Kent and Somerset.
Boulter had long-standing links with Boston, Lincolnshire, where he operated a warehouse. In 1698 he became Member of Parliament for the town. He died in 1709.
Gawthorpe was left to his nephew (another Edmund Boulter). Two years after his death in 1736 the old manor house was sold to Henry Lascelles, a wealthy trader with business interests in the West Indies. It was demolished in 1773 to make way for Harewood House. There’s a tomb in the church at Harewood inscribed to the memory of the younger Edmund Boulter.
Gawthorpe Hall – Early 18th century sketch
Wimpole Hall – Johannes Kip – 1730