The second son of Vincent Perronet, he was born at Sundridge and educated at Sevenoaks School and St. John's College, Cambridge (though without graduating). In 1746-47 he suffered attacks while on a preaching tour with Charles Wesley. After his marriage to Duriah Clarke in 1748, in 1749 while preaching with John Wesley he was beaten up at Bolton and supported Wesley in his distress after the marriage of Grace Murray to John Bennet. By 1750 both he and his brother Charles believed that their calling to preach justified their administering the Sacrament, even though this implied separation from the Established Church. In 1755, when the preachers at Conference agreed not to administer, the two brothers withdrew from the itinerancy and settled in Canterbury. In 1756 Edward published a satirical poem, The Mitre, a fierce attack on the Church of England, which the Wesleys did their best to suppress. For a short time he preached in the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion. He then became the minister of an Independent congregation in Canterbury. His hymn 'All hail the power of Jesu's name' (HP 252; SF 342), originally entitled 'On the Resurrection', first appeared in the Gospel Magazine in November 1779 and was included in the last of his three collections of hymns and poems, Occasional Verses, Moral and Sacred (1785). He died at Canterbury on 2 January 1792 and was buried in the cathedral cloister.
'[Charles Perronet's] brother Edward, who possessed equal powers, to which was superadded a large fund of wit, pursued a different path in life. Wit is a dangerous possession to those who do not live under the sacred and benevolent influence of the Spirit of God.'
Life of Vincent Perronet by his grand-daughter, 'P.D.'; copy at the New Room, Bristol