Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tonna, Lewis Hippolytus Joseph
TONNA, LEWIS HIPPOLYTUS JOSEPH (1812–1857), author, was born on 3 Sept. 1812 at Liverpool, where his father was vice-consul for Spain and the Two Sicilies. His mother was the daughter of Major H. S. Blanckley, consul-general in the Balearic Islands. In 1828 he was at Corfu, a student, when the death of his father threw him on his own resources, and he entered as interpreter, with the mling of 'acting schoolmaster,' on board the Hydra, then employed in the Gulf of Patras. In January 1831 ha was transferred to the Rainbow with Sir John Franklin [q. v.], and in October 1833 to the Britannia, flagship of Sir Pulteney Malcolm [q.v.] On returning to England in 1835 he obtained—apparently through Malcolm's influence—the post of assistant-director and afterwards of secretary of The Royal United Service Institution. This he held till his death on 2 April 1857, rendering to the institution 'zealous and effective' service. He was twice married: first, in 1841. to Mrs. Phelan [see Tonna, Charlotte Elizabeth]; secondly, in 1848, to Mary Anne, daughter of Charles Dibdin the younger [see under Dibdin, Henry Edward], who survived him. There was no issue by either marriage.
Tonna was the author of numerous small books and pamphlets, almost all on religious and controversial subjects, written from the ultra-protestant point of view. Among these may be named:
- 'Erchomena, or Things to Come," 1847, 16mo.
- 'Nuns and Nunneries: Sketches compiled entirely from Romish Authorities,' 1852, 12mo.
- 'The Real Dr. Achilli: a few more words with Cardinal Wiseman,' 1850, 8vo.
- 'The Lord is at Hand.'
- 'Privileged Persons.'
[Gent. Mag. '1857, ii. 85; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Ships' Paybooks &c. in the Public Record Office.]