Roland Meredith Starr ( aka Hubert Close )
Died : December 13, 1971 ( aged 80 )
Buried : Kirkley, Suffolk, England
Married : 1) Mary Grey - 1st March 1917 in Paddington, England - later
Divorced ; April 10, 1930
Margarita ( Margaret ) Ivelyn Ross - 1930 in Kensington, England
Children : 1st marriage - 2 sons ( 11 & 7 at the time of the
Nationality : English
In 1927 Baba sent one of His Indian disciples, Rustom Irani, to London in search of pupils to attend the multi-national, multi-faith boys school that Baba ran for several years. It was attached to Baba's ashram in Meherabad. Rustom met Meredith Starr, a spiritual seeker who taught meditation. Meredith, his wife *** ( Margaret ) and her sister were drawn to Meher Baba and travelled to India to spend six months at the Meherashram at Toka.
On his return, and on Baba’s instructions, Meredith set up a spiritual retreat in Devon, near Combe Martin, which attracted a number of interested people. Meredith taught meditation and prepared them for Meher Baba's arrival.
***Note : Meredith claimed he was married to Margaret when he arrived in India in 1928, they were actually lovers at the time. He married her 3 years later.
Excerpts from two 1932 newsreels: "Meher Baba's 1932 Message to America", and
"Meher Baba at Harmon-on-Hudson 1932". The first film, discovered in 1993 in the archives of the University of South
Carolina, was recorded in May 1932 by Movietone at the property
in which Meher Baba stayed for a short while called Harmon-on-Hudson which is located near Croton-Hudson at the end of the Albany Post Road in New
This town is located on the eastern side of the Hudson River north of New York City but in New York State.
Meher Baba is dictating to Meredith Starr who accompanied him from
The sounds of the steam ships can be heard in the distance.
In it, Baba answers questions posed by Meredith Starr about his mission in America. The second film, taken by Paramount in 1932, was rediscovered in 1994 in a film archive in New York.
For more information, visit www.Sheriarbooks.org.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Roland Meredith Starr|
Starr (left) with Meher Baba, New York 1932
29 December 1890( 1890-12-29)
13 December 1971 (aged 80)
Starr, whose birth name was Herbert Close, was born in Prestbury House, Hampton, at Richmond in the County of Middlesex, England to well-to-do land owning parents ("landed proprietors") William Brooks Close and Mary Baker Brooks Close. When Starr was one year old his parents separated and he was raised by his mother. He received his education at Winchester College in Hampshire. Starr was a psychologist, homeopath, occultist and an editorial writer. He was also the principal player in bringing the Indian guru Meher Baba to the West for the first time at the start of the 1930s, although he himself did not remain a follower for very long.
In the early 20th century, Starr wrote for The Occult Review, an illustrated monthly journal containing articles and correspondence by many notable occultists of the day, including Aleister Crowley, Arthur Edward Waite, W. L. Wilmshurst, Franz Hartmann, Florence Farr, and Herbert Stanley Redgrove. He probably changed his name to Meredith Starr when he was twenty in relation to his work as a reviewer and contributor for The Occult Review. He also wrote for Aleister Crowley's publication The Equinox, publishing Memory of Love (under the name "Herbert Close"), VII, 291 - Vol 7, in 1911.
Meredith Starr met Meher Baba in Toka, India on June 30, 1928. In 1931 Starr established a retreat center at East Challacombe, North Devon (a couple of miles from Combe Martin), where he invited Meher Baba to come and meet westerners. It was at the
Devon retreat that many of Meher Baba's lasting followers from Europe and the United States first met Baba. Meredith was famously lacking in a sense of humor and had a particular sense of how spiritual conduct should be,
thus enforcing strong codes of serious contemplative conduct that made even Meher Baba uncomfortable. Yet he is considered to have played a central role in introducing Meher Baba to the western
In December 1932, Starr grew irritated with Meher Baba and wrote to him, "Give me either the 400 pounds you owe me or illumination
( 25,000 pounds in todays value ); otherwise, I will leave you and expose you as a fraud!" He then did leave Meher Baba. The money he referred to was money he had spent hosting Meher Baba at his
retreat in Devon. Starr disbanded the Devon retreat and sold the property a year and a half later. A court case insured and Meher Baba was cleared.
He was married firstly on March 1, 1917 at Paddington Register Office to the Honourable Mary Grey, daughter of the 8th Earl of Stamford, from whom he was
divorced by decree nisi April 10, 1930,
on his admission of an adulterous relationship of four years' duration with a Miss Margaret Ross of East Challacombe, Combe Martin, Devon.He is buried in the Municipal Cemetery, Kirkley, Suffolk.
- MEMORY OF LOVE
- O DREAD Desire of Love! O lips and eyes!
- O image of the love that never dies,
- But, fed by furtive fire, rages most
- When Hope and Faith have been for ever lost!
- O oft-kissed lips and soul-remembered eyes,
- O stricken heart -- the old love never dies!
- O Passion of dead lips that used to cling
- To warm red living ones that breathed no pain!
- O Passion of dead hours that daily bring
- To life some phantom pale that died in vain! ...
- Some echo tuned to Memory's dying strain,
- Some witness of the immemorial spring!
- — Meredith Starr (The Equinox)
ARROWS OF FLAME
Published by ; C.W.Daniel Company
Baba's age seemed to be about thirty-five. His skin was as fair as any European's. His hair and mustache were dark brown, making a vivid contrast to his face, and he had large, luminous eyes. Serenity and strength radiated from his presence, and his face seemed lit up as if by an inner light.
He told us not to worry about anything, but just to trust him and follow his instructions, and that if we did so, we could not fail to progress. In a few days we felt completely at home. There were some three hundred people in his ashram, including about seventy boys.
On the fourth or fifth day, Shri Meher Baba asked me to keep silence and to spend practically all my time in meditation. I remained silent for six months, only resuming speech the day I left for Bombay. The Master had been silent for nearly seven years. He communicates by means of signs and an alphabet board.
After a few weeks, I became unconscious of space and time. The outward world ceased to exist for me, and I experienced immense inrushes of cosmic consciousness. A love so immense flooded my being that for three months tears continually streamed from my eyes - yet I am by no means a sentimental man. The deepest springs of life in my heart had been awakened.
My life had been kindled by the flame of divine love which radiates continually from the Master. The springtide of creation was born anew in my soul. The old consciousness dissolved like a mist before the rising sun, and was replaced by a new heaven and a new earth. My life was one continual symphony of inspiration. I could have written poetry all day and night for months on end.
in an article by Henry Forman in the
New York Times, LM5 p1631-1632
Articles written in The Occult Review
ENGLAND MARRIAGE INDEX 1930
ENGLAND DEATH INDEX 1971
SHIPS THAT MEREDITH STARR SAILED ON
Departed Genoa, Italy 27th October 1931 and arrived in New York, USA on 6th November 1931.
This was the first time Meher Baba sailed to the United States accompanied by several of his close male disciples and Margaret Starr.
Depated New York 5th December 1931 and arrived at Le Havre, France on 11th December 1931
Meredith again sailed on the Bremen departing from Southampton, England on the 14th May 1932 and arrived 20th May 1932 in New York.
In November 1959, Meredith & Margaret took a cruise on the RMS Andes