Devine, Tilly

Prostitute, madam and sly-grog seller, famous in interwar Sydney for her criminal exploits.

Milestone
Born
Camberwell, London, England
08 Sep 1900
Arrived Sydney
SS Waimana
13 Jan 1920
Died
Concord, Sydney
24 Nov 1970
Buried
26 Nov 1970
Name
Birth
Twiss, Matilda Mary
1900 - 1917
Alternate
Devine, Matilda Mary
1917 - 1945
Alternate
Parsons, Matilda
1945 - 1970
Occupation
Position
1920 - 1929
1925 - 1927
Relationship
Spouse
12 Aug 1917 - Mar 1943
Spouse
19 May 1945 - 22 Nov 1958

Tilly Devine

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2016

Tilly Devine, born Matilda Mary Twiss in London, arrived in Sydney as a war bride in 1920 and became a formidable figure in the city's underworld, particularly in Palmer Street, Darlinghurst. Known for her violence and her legendary feud with Kate Leigh, Devine was the city's leading madam until the end of the 1950s. She died, in financial ruin and unlamented, in 1970 but her legend has recently been revived in popular culture.