Bob Cratchit

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Bob Cratchit
A Christmas Carol character
Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim as depicted in the 1870s by Fred Barnard
First appearance A Christmas Carol 1843
Created by Charles Dickens
Nickname(s) Bob
Gender Male
Occupation Clerk
Spouse(s) Mrs. Cratchit (named Emily in some adaptations)
Children Martha,
an unnamed son (named Matthew in some adaptations),
an unnamed daughter,
Tiny Tim.

Robert "Bob" Cratchit is a fictional character in the Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol. The abused, underpaid clerk of Ebenezer Scrooge, Cratchit has come to symbolize poor working conditions, especially long working hours.[1]


In the story, Cratchit is first seen at work, where he copies letters by hand in an underheated "dismal little cell", "a sort of tank". He is repeatedly described as "ugly" and clothes himself in a tattered white comforter, since he cannot afford a coat. Cratchit is treated poorly by Scrooge and given a weekly salary of "but fifteen shillings",[2] insufficient to provide his family with a proper Christmas dinner.

Scrooge invisibly visits Cratchit and his family in their small Camden Town home on Christmas Day as well as on a future Christmas. He is accompanied on these visits by the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, respectively. In the former vision, Cratchit is portrayed as a loving husband and father who is forgiving enough to defend Scrooge to his wife; in short, he is everything Scrooge is not. In the later vision, Cratchit is seen mourning his son Tiny Tim, who has recently died; Cratchit could not afford to give the sickly boy proper care on his low salary. On Christmas Day Scrooge, who has seen the error of his ways, donates a turkey to Cratchit's family and gives him a raise, and becomes a second father to Tiny Tim.


Seven members of Cratchit's family are mentioned in the original story, four of whom are named:

  • Mrs. Cratchit, Bob Cratchit's wife, who is named Emily in some adaptations.
  • Martha Cratchit, the eldest daughter, who works as an apprentice at a milliner's.
  • Belinda Cratchit, the second daughter.
  • Peter Cratchit, the heir, for whom his father is arranging employment at the weekly rate of Five shillings and sixpence.
  • An unnamed younger son, named Matthew in some adaptations.
  • An unnamed younger daughter, named Lucy in some adaptations.
  • Timothy "Tiny Tim" Cratchit. He is desperately ill, and walks with a crutch.

Notable actors who portrayed Bob Cratchit[edit]

The role of Bob Cratchit has been performed (live action, voiced or animated) by, among others:


  1. ^ "Wall Street: Bob Cratchit Hours". Time Magazine. 18 August 1967. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  2. ^ about £63/US$102 in 2010 money using the consumer price index