Biography of Robert Woodman


Dr. Robert Woodman (1828-1891) was born in England in 1828. He studied medicine and was licensed in 1851 and volunteered as a surgeon during Napoleon III's coup d'etat. Afterwards, he set up his own practice at Stoke Newington where he also served as police surgeon. He was a prominent Freemason, and was appointed Grand Sword Bearer of the United Grand Lodge of England. He held high rank in many Orders, including the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine. He had a love for gardening and was a prominent horticulturalist and flower exhibitor.

Dr. Woodman was admitted into the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia on October 31, 1867 and appointed to the office of Secretary General in February 1868. He was co-editor for the society's journal, The Rosicrucian. In 1876, he was appointed Junior Substitute Magus, and in 1877 he was appointed Senior Substitute Magus. When Robert Little died in April 1878, Woodman, became Supreme Magus. Under Woodman, the Order expanded from London to the rest of England and was extending its influence to Australia and America.

In 1887 he was given the honorary grade of Exempt Adept, of the Isis-Urania temple of the Golden Dawn, founded in 1888, in which he held the office of Imperator. His mottos in the Order were Magna est Veritas et Praelavebit (5=6, "Great is the Truth and it shall Prevail") and Vincit Omnia Veritas (7=4, "Truth Rules All"). Dr. Woodman is least known among the three founders of the Golden Dawn because he died before the creation of the Golden Dawn's Second Order. In the Golden Dawn, no one was appointed to take his place in the Triad of Chiefs: Westcott became Praemonstrator and Mathers, Imperator.

Dr. Woodman died suddenly on December 20, 1891 after a brief illness. He left behind a letter naming William Wynn Westcott as his successor to the S.R.I.A. and donating a portion of his library to the society.