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 still alive), Cratchit has come to symbolize poor working conditions, especially long working hours. He is close to 30 years of age in the book, but can appear differently in different versions.[1]

Bob Cratchit
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
SpouseMrs. Cratchit (named Emily in some adaptations)
Tiny Tim
an umnamed son (named Matthew in some adaptations)
an unnamed daughter (named Lucy or Gillian in some adaptions)

According to a comment by Scrooge, Cratchit works for 15 shillings a week at a rate of three pence ("thruppence") an hour for 60 hours per week. Until the decimalization of the British Pound in 1971, one shilling was twelve pence. Thus, fifteen shillings is 180 pence. It would take 60 hours to earn 180 at a rate of three pence per hour.[2] In terms of 2015 purchasing power, this would be approximately £63.00[3] or about $94 US per week.


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.
  • Timothy "Tiny Tim" Cratchit. The youngest child, he is desperately ill and walks with a crutch.
  • A younger son, named Matthew; or alternatively, a daughter named Miranda in varied adaptations.
  • A younger daughter, named Lucy or Gillian in various adaptations.

Notable portrayals


  1. "Wall Street: Bob Cratchit Hours". Time Magazine. 18 August 1967. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  2. "Understanding old British money – pounds, shillings and pence". Archived from the original on 2015-12-27. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  3. "Purchase Power of the Pound". Measuring Worth. Retrieved 2015-12-25.

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