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 was an ordained minister of the Methodist New Connexion, and was much used of God in a revival at Halifax. He was also a minister at York, where his work was greatly owned 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 very 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 he shortly afterwards resigned.
He saw what a terrible thing it was for a man, or number of men to come between his work and God, and the thoroughly unscripturalness of it, and henceforth 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 every one who knew him than almost any other Plymouth Brother, " and his untimely death, while he was yet under 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 about Plymouth and Bethesda, but is best 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 men who began to meet in the early part of the nineteenth century in various parts of the country, unknown to each other, and under no human leadership, . . . the inception of this movement arising from a new illumination of the Personality of Jesus Christ, and of the essential unity of all who believe in Him, under whatever name they were differentiated" ("Undertones of the Nineteenth Century").