Bob Cratchit

Bob Cratchit is a fictional character in the Charles Dickens 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. The abused, underpaid clerk of Ebenezer Scrooge (and possibly Jacob Marley, when he was alive), Cratchit has come to symbolize the poor working conditions, especially long working hours and low pay, endured by many working-class people in the early Victorian era.

Bob Cratchet
A Christmas Carol character
Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim as depicted in the 1870s by Fred Barnard
First appearanceA Christmas Carol 1843
Created byCharles Dickens
In-universe information
SpouseMrs. Cratchit (named Emily in some adaptations)
Tiny Tim
an unnamed son (named Matthew in some adaptations)
an unnamed daughter (named Lucy or Gillian in some adaptions)

In the novellaEdit

When Cratchit timidly asks Scrooge for Christmas Day off work so he can be with his family, Scrooge at first threatens to dock his pay, but reluctantly agrees on the condition that Cratchit comes to work early the day after Christmas.

Cratchit and his family live in poverty because Scrooge is too miserly to pay him a decent wage. Cratchit's son, Tiny Tim, is crippled and sick; according to the Ghost of Christmas Present, Tim will die because the family is too poor to give him the treatment he needs. While Cratchit's family curses Scrooge for his stinginess, however, Cratchit says he feels sorry for his employer, and insists that they toast his health.

After Scrooge changes his ways on Christmas Day, he anonymously sends a Christmas turkey to Cratchit for his family's dinner. The next day Scrooge states that he will increase Cratchit's salary immediately and promises to help his struggling family.


Seven members of Cratchit's family are mentioned in the original story, five 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 milliners.
  • 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.
  • Timothy "Tiny Tim" Cratchit. The youngest child, he is desperately ill and walks with a crutch.

Notable portrayalsEdit