Victorian London - Health and Hygiene - Medical Advice, Cures and Technology - Mesmerism (Hypnosis)

MESMERIC TRANCE. On Wednesday last, at a quarter past 2 o'clock, Mr. Tubbs, surgeon, of Upwell, Cambridgeshire, in the presence of above a dozen gentlemen, at the Mesmeric Infirmary, No.36, Weymouth-street, Portland-place, cut away the right breast of a most respectable married woman, of Upwell, named Flowerday. He first threw her into the state of sleep-walking by holding her hands in his, and staring at her eyes. After a time her eye-lids quivered, and her eyes converged and turned upwards; and, in nine minutes from the first, her eyes closed, and her head drooped as she sat in her chair. Mr. Tubbs then ceased to hold first one hand and then the other, and each dropped powerless into her lap. The left hand was allowed to lie where it fell; the right hand was held up and aside by Mr. Burman, surgeon, of Wisbeach, in order to be out of the operator's way. During the whole of the operation, which was performed with unusual slowness, not a sound escaped the patient. She sat perfectly still, silent, and relaxed, like any one in the sweetest sleep - not a part quivered or twitched; her lips were relaxed and motionless; and, in order further to show that she exerted no effort to restrain herself, Dr. Elliotson, while the gashes were making, moved the ends of her fingers backwards and forwards in complete relaxation, with the tip of one of his fingers. There was no holding or catching of her breath; all was the relaxation and placidity of complete repose. In fact, her countenance, which is extremely good, expressed the height of composure; and she was not subjected to restraint of any kind. After the operation was performed she was awakened, and at first was quite unconscious of what had been done. It was proposed to carry her to bed, but she unaffectedly declined, and deliberately walked up two pairs of stairs, got into bed, and was sent back into her mesmeric trance by a few downward passes before her face. - Examiner.

The Times, June 2, 1869

THE MESMERIC INFIRMARY, 36, Weymouth-street, Portland-place. Established in 1849, for the treatment of Epilepsy, Deafness, Rheumatism, and other diseases, in which the ordinary means have failed; supported entirely by voluntary contributions. This Institution is now under the immediate superintendence of THOS. CHANDLER, Esq., M.R.C.S., &c., who has been an active member of the council from its first establishment by Dr. Elliotson and others 20 years ago, and who now gives advice gratis at 36, Weymouth-street, every morning (except Sundays), from 9 till 10, and remains for consultation till half-past 12. Numerous cases which were considered incurable have been successfully treated at this useful though little known Institution, for which funds are much required. 
    SUBSCRIPTIONS and DONATIONS may be sent to the treasurer, at the Institution; or to the Union Bank, Argyle-place. 
    N.B. Patients are now mesmerized only from 10 till half-past 12, during which hours friends are invited to attend.

The Times, May 2, 1854