E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Bandbox Plot (The).
Rapin (History of England, iv. 297) tells us that a bandbox was sent to the lord-treasurer, in Queen Annes reign, with three pistols charged and cocked, the triggers being tied to a pack-thread fastened to the lid. When the lid was lifted, the pistols would go off, and shoot the person who opened the lid. He adds that [dean] Swift happened to be by at the time, and seeing the pack-thread, cut it, thereby saving the life of the lord-treasurer.