Edmund Bristow was born on 1 April 1787 at Eton and lived the whole of his life in Windsor. His father was a heraldic painter and Bristow mainly painted sporting and animal subjects, as well as landscapes which often included views of Windsor and Eton College characters of the day. His paintings were mostly small in scale, beautifully observed and with great attention to detail. He was a friend of Sir Edwin Landseer, RA (1802-1873) and it is said that he gave the young Landseer advice and help. Despite being something of a recluse with eccentric views, Bristow had some important patrons from the Court, including the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Clarence, later William IV.
Bristow is represented in the following collections: Hull Museums Collections; Wolverhampton Arts and Museums; The Berger Collection, Denver, amongst others.