Robert Bowen was a commander in the Royal Navy who was acquainted with H. P. Blavatsky. He "questioned her persistently about what attitude a student ought to take towards The Secret Doctrine. He made careful notes of the answers she gave him and subsequently read them over to her to make sure that he had not mistaken her meaning." These notes were published in the January-March, 1932, issue of Theosophy in Ireland after Bowen's son, Captain P. G. B. Bowen, a Dublin theosophist, brought them to light.
Yvonne Burgess of the Theosophical Society in London has compiled biographical information about the Bowen family, which is available at the Blavatsky Archives.
Involvement in ceremonial work
Robert's son, Capt. P. G. Bowen, claims in a letter to Mr. MacKinnon (written in July 22, 1937) that his father was "a member of the 'Club' mentioned by K.H." in Mahatma Letter No. 11, which had been formed "for the practical teaching of magick" around the 1860s. P. G. Bowen continues to say that his father "was a very intimate friend of Anna Kingsford" and adds:
He states definitely that Anna Kingsford, in 1885 (I think) formed an Inner Group in her Hermetic Society, and in it were Wynn Westcott and MacGregor Mathers. There was another member whom my father often mentions as ‘X’, or ‘A-A’ and sometimes as ‘Druid friend X’ or simply ‘The Druid’, and this person it was who brought the ‘Club’ material to A[nna]. K[ingsford]. Westcott and Mathers were given access to it, and later made it the basis of the Golden Dawn rituals.
According to P. G. Bowen, Robert was "connected with the Golden Dawn in the early 90’s" and all this information comes "directly from manuscripts left by my father."