At the end of the 18th Century, a tea producer named James Tilly Matthews warned of a plot to mesmerise and kill key members of the British government. The conspiracy was led by a seven strong band of Jacobin assassins, and the weapon was known as the Airloom', This fiendish piece of equipment, also known as 'the influencing machine' worked by mixing gases into a hypnotic, magnetic fluid which assaulted the mind of the victim. The tortures were many and included 'lobster cracking', knee-nailing, eye-screwing, vital-tearing and foot-curving', and the gases were mixed from a combination which included 'effluvia of dogs, stinking human breath, gaz from the anus of a horse, gaz of the horses greasy heels, and poison of toad' (Haslam 1810 : 29).
Of the seven, the 'Glove woman', is noted as having a
'sharp face', and 'and on her chin and upper lip, there is a considerable quantity of fine downy hair' (Haslam 1810 : 28).
James Tilly Matthews was sent to Bedlam in the end, convinced he was a victim of the gangs deadly ministrations. He was released finally, in part because his detailed plans of the machine were so impressive, that many believed he might be telling the truth (Strauss 2014).
Haslam, J (1810) Illustrations of Madness
Strauss M. (2014) The 19th Century blueprint for a massive mind-control machine