William Joseph Taylor was born in Birmingham in 1802. By the 1840s Taylor was established as a medallist and dealer. During his career he produced a considerable number of coins and tokens, mainly for export.
In 1848 Taylor acquired many of the original dies from the Soho mint, from which he restruck many of the earlier Soho coins, including patterns. He usually repolished and re-engraved some elements of the original die before reusing them.
Taylor sent a press to Australia in November 1852 as part of the unsucessful Kangaroo Office venture. Although the press was already old, Kangaroo Office Manager Reginald Scaife was nevertheless was able to use it to produce four pieces that were awarded a bronze prize at the Melbourne Exhibition in 1854. The dies for these had been prepared in London. Thomas Stokes purchased the press from the Kangaroo Office when the business was wound up in 1857. For further details, see records for: 'Kangaroo Office (Mint)'; 'Scaife, Reginald'; and 'Stokes, Thomas'.
Taylor retained links to Melbourne in later years. In 1860 and 1862 Coard, a London agent for some Victorian businesses, gave Taylor orders for tokens to be issued by two Melbourne businesses, John Andrew and his neighbour A.G. Hodgson (see parties records). He also struck tokens for a number of New Zealand businesses.
Taylor is named as the maker of the Melbourne Regatta prize medal issued in 1868 , 1888 and a Victorian Rifle Association medal (undated ). Examples of these medals are held in the Museum Victoria collection.
Taylor died in 1885.
Roy W. Farman (1953). 'Australian Tokens'. The Australian Numismatist. 8 
Coincraft website http://www.coincraft.com/aboutus/glossary.html.
Forrer, L. (1916). 'Taylor, William Joseph.' Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, pp. 41-43.