LAIDLAW, WILLIAM (1780-1845), friend and amanuensis of Sir Walter Scott, was born at Blackhouse, Selkirkshire, on the 19th of November 1780, the son of a sheep farmer. After an elementary education in Peebles he returned to work upon his father's farm. James Hogg, the shepherd poet, who was employed at Blackhouse for some years, became Laidlaw's friend and appreciative critic. Together they assisted Scott by supplying material for his Border Minstrelsy, and Laidlaw, after two failures as a farmer in Midlothian and Peebleshire, became Scott's steward at Abbotsford. He also acted as Scott's amanuensis at different times, taking down a large part of The Bride of Lammermoor, The Legend of Montrose and Ivanhoe from the author's dictation. He died at Contin near Dingwall, Ross-shire, on the 18th of May 1845. Of his poetry, little is known except Lucy's Flittin' in Hogg's Forest Minstrel.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)