All the information concerning Mrs. Trench and her hymns has been taken from "Songs of Pilgrimage and Glory" by E.E. Cornwall. Vol.2. pp. 84-86.
Mrs. Trench was born on January 31st. 1843. Her maiden name was Janetta W. Taylor. On May 25th 1866, she was married to John Alfred Trench. (He died March 28th 1922). Mrs Trench died on June 14th 1925 at Winscales House, Workington, Cumberland.
Some of the earlier hymns of Mrs. Trench were printed as leaflets, but her best are found in the "Little Flock" collection. Her hymns are more than meagre expressions of the truth; they contain a satisfying fulness that overflows, evidently the outcome of truth enjoyed, for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh". It is of interest that her hymn "Death and judgement are behind us, Grace and glory are before" was written on the occasion of her own baptism in 1864, when twenty one years of age.
Mrs.Trench compiled a hymn book for the young entitled "Our Own Sunday School Hymn Book", containing most of our beautiful standard hymns for children, besides many newer gospel hymns. Mrs. Trench was privileged to share her husband's joy in the deep things of God; and much of his valuable written ministry has been included in three volumes under the title "Truth For Believers". Three months before his departure (March 28th 1922) he could write "I feel as one brought to the confines of the Eternal world, and finding that all stand firm that I ever believed, with the blessedness of having no other resting place but the finished work of Christ".
In the year 1925, Mrs Trench finished her own course with joy, and during her short illness, oftentimes repeated poems by her old friend Mrs. Frances Bevan; especially "The Border of the Sanctuary", one of the latter's own compositions commencing:
Glorious and solemn hour,
Thus at last to stand,
All behind us the great desert,
All before the land!
Past the shadows of the valley,
Past the dreary plain;
Past the rugged mountain pathway,
Ne'er to be again.
And before us, ever stretching
In its golden sheen,
Lies the fair, the blessed country
Where our hearts have been.
[Mrs. Frances Bevan]
The tune "How blest a Home" composed by S.M.W. and appearing in "Praise Songs", is usually sung to Mrs. Trench's hymn commencing with the same words. This tune, and many others suited to a large number of the hymns mentioned in E.E. Cornwall's notes, may he found in "Melodies and Chants", a companion book of tunes compiled by T. Willey, adapted to the Little Flock hymn book. The revision of this collection in 1903 made it necessary also to revise "Melodies and Chants" and to add a supplement.
Mrs. Trench's hymns in 'Spiritual Songs' are as follows:
82 Jesus Thou alone art worthy
254 Death and judgement are behind us
365 Oh, the brightness of the glory
373 All the path the saints are treading
439 How blest a home, the Father's House!
459 O blessed Lord, we praise Thee now
The last hymn was included in the William Kelly's edition of Hymns, Selected and Revised in 1894. The others are well used favourites and are greatly used in augmenting the praise and worship of those who use the 'Spiritual Songs' hymn book.
Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Trench had one son and three daughters. One of them, Miss Ada, devoted herself to serve and help blind people. She published a magazine in Braille with scriptural themes. When she became too old to continue this service, she relinquished it to others. It formed the basis of the present "Torch" Christian service for the blind.