William Lauder was born in Scotland and had the early misfortune to have a leg amputated as the result of a golfing accident. He acquired a reputation as a classicist at the University of Edinburgh and was Latin master of the grammar school at Dundee (1742); "a few years afterwards we find him in London, contriving to ruin the reputation of Milton, an attempt that which ended in the destruction of his own" John Nichols, Literary Anecdotes (1812-15) 2:137n. A Jacobite, Lauder was for a time befriended by Samuel Johnson, no great admirer of Milton or Whiggery himself. After the forged quotations were exposed, Johnson broke with him and Lauder retired in disgrace to Barbados, where he taught school.
A poem on the Holy Sacrament, translated [from H. de Groot]. 1732.
Poetarum Scotorum musae sacrae [editor]. 1739.
Calumny display'd: or, Pseudo-Philo-Buchananus couch'd of a cataract. 1740.
An essay on Milton's use and imitation of the moderns. 1750.
An apology for Mr. Lauder. 1751.
A letter to the Reverend Mr Douglas. 1751.
Sarcotia. Libri tres [J. Masenius, trans.] 1753.
King Charles I vindicated from the charge of plagiarism, brought against him by Milton. 1754.