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Lawrence, William Beach

William Beach Lawrence, 1800–1881, American political leader and jurist, b. New York City. He was appointed secretary of the legation in Great Britain in 1826 and was made (1827) chargé d'affaires. In 1829 he returned to New York City, where he practiced law. Lawrence moved to Rhode Island in 1850, was elected lieutenant governor in 1851, and was acting governor in 1852. Soon afterward he retired from politics to devote himself to writing on international law. His annotated edition of Henry Wheaton's Elements of International Law (1855) was long a standard work. From his service on an international commission to codify international law came his Commentaire sur les éléments du droit international [commentary on the elements of international law] (4 vol., 1868–80).

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Bragg, William Lawrence

Bragg, William Lawrence (1890–1970) An English physicist who, with his father William Henry Bragg, evolved the technique of X-ray crystallography, used to determine the atomic structure of crystals. He was an early supporter of the concept of continental drift, and is thought to have been responsible, in 1922, for arranging the translation into English and publication of Wegener's work. See also BRAGG'S LAW.

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