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Leslie “Squizzy” Taylor – From the Archives

With the series premiere of Underbelly: Squizzy last night, Public Record Office Victoria records featured heavily throughout episode 1 and are sure to continue throughout the rest of the series given that Squizzy and his gang were located in Melbourne, Victoria.

Let us share some of these records with you from last nights show.

Born Joseph Leslie Theodore “Squizzy” Taylor on 29 June 1888, originally lived with his parents, Benjamin Isaiah Taylor and Rosina Taylor (nee Jones) in Brighton however moved to Bridge Road, Richmond after the family coachmaking business was sold by creditors in 1893. 

Take a look at the rate book entry below for number 506 in 1893.  The owner of the property is listed as Pat Toole, a gentleman from Richmond with the “Persons Rated” being crossed out and no name being replaced in this space.

VPRS 9990 P1 Unit 63 pg1VPRS 9990 P1 Unit 63 pg2















Leslie “Squizzy” Taylor.  In last night’s episode, it was eluded to that Leslie’s crime spree really began with the arrest for the murder of the taxi driver William Haines in 1916.  (See the criminal trial brief cover page below)

VPRS 30 P0 Unit 1764 Item179     VPRS 30 P0 Unit 1764 Item 179 – Criminal Trial Brief

In fact, at the age of 16, he was arrested for insulting behaviour.  Although discharged without conviction, this would not be the last time he would meet with the authorities.

VPRS 1931 P0 Unit 14 Pg 158

VPRS 1931 P0 Unit 14 Page 158 – Petty Sessions Register

 In 1906, he was given his first criminal conviction at the age of 17 for theft.

VPRS 1931 P0 Unit 15 Pg 29

VPRS 1931 P0 Unit 15 Page 29 – Petty Sessions Register

With Squizzy’s prisoner records kicked off, he appeared many times in court and was found not guilty for crimes from robbery to theft and loitering with intent to commit a felony.  You can check out all of these criminal trial briefs and petty sessions registers available for ordering and viewing at Public Record Office Victoria.  Visit to start your research.

And then there are the crimes he was convicted from 1906 to 1927.  These are all listed in his prison record below.


VPRS 515/P0, Central Register of Male Prisoner, Unit 60, Folio 43

Stay tuned for episode 2 of Underbelly: Squizzy on Sunday night at 8:30pm on Channel 9 as well as another blog post on Monday from PROV highlighting more original records from our collection.

7 Comments to Leslie “Squizzy” Taylor – From the Archives

  1. Chloe Okoli's Gravatar Chloe Okoli
    July 31, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Great post! Thanks for putting up the primary sources so we can get a look at where all the information about Squizzy is coming from, and where to find more. Thanks. :)

  2. Daniela Charquero's Gravatar Daniela Charquero
    July 31, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing! It’s fascinating to see these documents and we are so fortunate that they have been well preserved. Thanks again, and I look forward to the next round!

  3. Margaret Trist's Gravatar Margaret Trist
    August 2, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    What a great post. I have been to the Public Records of Victoria, and have found the staff their exceptionally helpful. This story is one of millions they have for us the see. I highly recomend a visit.

    August 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    My late mother was a trainee nurse at St Vincents Hospital Melbourne She was working in the Emergency department the night Squizzy was bought in.Both my mum and the other young nurses were intrigued by Squizzy’s pale blue silk underwear!
    Mum dined out on this story often.
    Julie K

  5. Joseph Steven's Gravatar Joseph Steven
    August 26, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know what house number taylor was born in NEW St Brighton?

  6. Jan's Gravatar Jan
    August 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    What dates do the criminal records start and finish? I have an uncle who was in and out of gaol and I would love to get his criminal records and a photo.

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