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When Kitty Came To London


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How a Linklater family from Orkney met the Pyotts in London's Docklands.

By Teresa Pyott.


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In 1952, Teresa Pyott’s father received an inheritance, including a London house, from a woman to whom he was not related. Teresa’s parents, hardworking but modestly paid actors, found their lives transformed by this change in their fortunes. Teresa had grown up with stories of ‘Aunt Catherine’ Linklater, as she was known in the family, but it was only much later, after her father’s death, that she asked herself how this inheritance came about.

Was there a long-buried family secret to unravel? What was the connection between the Linklaters and the Pyotts? Did it all begin when ‘Kitty came to London, a little girl,’ and, if so, when was that? The search for the truth led Teresa to Orkney, Essex, London, an asylum, elementary schools, and seafarers who voyaged to the Moravian mission settlements in Labrador and across all the world’s great oceans. In her quest, she found tragedy and triumph against the odds in family stories spanning a century and found the answer to the question she began with. When Kitty Came to London is a captivating story about family secrets concealed in the past.

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