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Woods, James

James Woods (1840-1897) was the compiler and publisher of the scarce "A New Atlas & Gazetteer of the Isle of Man" (1867). The Manx parliament, Tynwald, passed an act in 1860 to construct a lunatic asylum. This was to be funded by levying property rates, which required a survey to be undertaken. Woods was appointed to conduct the survey, which was undertaken between 1861 and 1864, using the 1841 Tithe Plans as a base. Woods used the resulting survey to prepare his atlas of the island. The survey having been completed, he was appointed as rates collector for Maughold & Ramsey, and later Town Clerk of Ramsey. In 1869 he suddenly disappeared amid allegations that he had fraudulently misappropriated public funds for which he had been responsible. He appears to have escaped his financial difficulties by emigrating to Ohio, United States, where he continued to work as a surveyor, civil engineer, and occasional publisher of maps.