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William in his greenhouse

William Robert Woodman (1828 – 20 December 1891), also referred to as Frater V.O.V. in the Abstergo Industries DDS, was a co-founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn alongside William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell Mathers.

At some point during his life, Woodman came into contact with a Shroud of Eden and shared a conversation with the consciousness of the Isu Consus, harbored in the artifact.[1]


Later life

"I briefly wonder who of my two colleagues, of my two oldest and dearest friends, the assassin works for. [...] One wants me dead; the other has a much more sinister idea."
―Woodman pondering on the attempt on his life.[src]

Woodman meeting with Gustav Meyrink on the day of his death

A little before Christmas, Woodman tended to the flowers in his greenhouse, when he was approached by a young Gustav Meyrink, who asked for his help as an editor. Woodman only mumbled noncommittally, but Gustav seemed satisfied.[2]

Some time after Gustav had left, Woodman sensed the approach of an assassin, one he knew to be independent from the Order of Assassins.[2]

Knowing that one of his two oldest friends was responsible, out of friendship and faithfulness to him, Woodman nonetheless did not resist, and succumbed to the killer's poison.[2]

After death

"They wish I wouldn't spy on them now, but they know I'm here. They always do. I've rarely met humans so gifted before."
―Woodman on his contact with Mathers and Moina.[src]

Woodman's coffin, marked with the Rosy Cross

Even after death, Woodman somehow continued to live on, even observing his own funeral and commenting that the ceremony was "well performed—though completely useless."[2]

Here, only Mathers, the Evoker of Spirits, and Moina, the Seeress and Mather's wife, seemed to acknowledge Woodman and know he was present.[2]

Woodman went on to observe the downfall of his Order by following Samuel Mathers to important meetings. He saw Aleister Crowley's initiation into the Inner Order, Mathers meeting with one of the Secret Chiefs, who revealed to Mathers how important Woodman had been, and Mathers' resignation from the Order. He was also present during Moina's prediction of the downfall of the Order.[2]


  • "V.O.V." referred to the Latin phrase "vincit omnia veritas," meaning "truth conquers all." The phrase was also used as a memory title in Woodman's chapter in Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy.