In modern use the more common word is later, which is from mid-15c. and is perhaps a new formation or a variant of this word. Latter survives mostly in the phrase the latter, which, with the former is used to avoid repetition (but sometimes incorrectly, when more than two are involved).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to let go, slacken."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek ledein "to be weary;" Latin lenis "mild, gentle, calm," lassus "faint, weary;" Lithuanian lėnas "quiet, tranquil, tame, slow," leisti "to let, to let loose;" Old Church Slavonic lena "lazy," Old English læt "sluggish, slow," lætan "to leave behind."