Notes from "Chief Men Among the Brethren" by Henry Pickering:
William Trotter was born in 1818 and died in 1865 at the early age of 47, having done the work of three lives, it is said. He was converted at twelve years of age and found peace through the ministry of William Dawson, the Methodist preacher famous in the North as "Billy Dawson". At 14 he began to preach, and at 19 he was an ordained minister at York, where his work was greatly used of God in the conversion of sinners, and many souls were saved. It was while being so signally used that the Conference — or some such body — conceived the idea that it would be a good thing to transfer him to London, to a chapel which had gone down in popularity, and whose members were dwindling, with the result that his mouth was virtually closed in his ministry, and shortly afterwards he resigned. He saw what a terrible thing it was for a man, or a committee of men, to come between his work and God, and the thoroughly unscriptural nature of it, and henceforth he associated with "Brethren" where his ministry was much owned of God. He was a very kind, loving and affectionate man, and W.B. Neatby, in his "History of the Brethren" speaks of him as being "more highly spoken of by everyone who knew him than almost any other 'Plymouth' brother". His untimely death while he was not yet 50, was felt to be a heavy loss, of the kind that Christians can least afford. He wrote with great vigour at the time of the sad troubles in 1848 when brethren split into 'Open' and 'Exclusive' fellowships (His booklet was entitled "The Whole Case of Plymouth and Bethesda" in which he laid bare the principles involved in that controversy that ended in sorrowful division.), but is also remembered by his excellent works "Eight Lectures on Prophecy" and "Plain Papers on Prophetic Subjects". He also edited for a few years a little paper, "The Christian Brethren's Journal and Investigator" giving an account of the activities of the "little companies of earnest people who began to meet in the early part of the nineteenth century .... the inception of the movement arising from a new illumination of the Personality of Jesus Christ, and of the essential unity of all who believe in Him". ("Undertones of the Nineteenth Century").
Hy. Pickering wrote that Mr. Trotter wrote with vigour during the unhappy period of 1848. Mr Trotter wrote
Mr. Trotter's hymns in 'Spiritual Songs' are:
320 Farewell to this world's fleeting joys
321 Behold the Lamb whose precious blood
No 320 is a hymn that no worldly Christian could sing with sincerity. The last verse is:
"Farewell, farewell, poor faithless world,
With all thy boasted store,
We'll not have joy where He had woe —
Be rich where He was poor".
No. 321 extols the value and efficacy of the precious blood of Jesus.