Edward John Poole was a civil servant, unmarried and living at 3 Grove Villa, Muswell Hill at the time of the 1881 census.
He apparently acquired a large collection of Whistler's work at or or at some time in the four years after Whistler's one-man exhibition at Messrs Dowdeswell in 1884. These possibly included Amsterdam in Winter (M.877) Violet and amber - Tea (M.897) Harmony in violet and amber (M.906) Moreby Hall (M.908) Note in pink and purple (M.935) Black and red (M.936) and The Little Grocery, Chelsea; grey and red (M.952). However, there is some doubt about the extent of the collection, beause a number of these works appeared in the collection of H. S. Theobald soon afterwards.
Since Whistler tried to borrow some works from Poole for exhibition, such as Black and red (M.936) in 1888, it is clear that they were personally acquainted, and that Whistler, as usual, demanded a lot from his patrons. It may be this that led Poole to sell the works that he had bought.
UK census 1881, from http://www.familysearch.org (accessed 2004); Kelly's London Postal Directory, London.