In 1836, on this day at the City of London Police Station the thieving accountant Bob Cratchit was charged with embezzling funds from his employers, Ebeneezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley.
But Fifteen BobIn the local business community, Cratchit was generally considered to be a near-impoverished clerk who received a pittance from the miserly business partners for copying letters by hand in an underheated "dismal little cell" or "a sort of tank" which was his miserable place of work. Perceived as a member of the "little people" he clothed himself in a tattered white comforter since he could not afford a coat.
Feeling pity that his employee's weekly salary of "but fifteen bob" was insufficient to feed his family a proper Christmas dinner, Mr Scrooge visited the clerk's home to deliver a prize turkey - however he was shocked to discover the Cratchit Family already enjoying a sumptous banquet. Puzzled, he investigated further, only to discover that "Tiny Tim" was in fact an adopted child falsely claiming invalidity welfare benefit to supplement the money being taken by his father from his munificient employers. Bah, humbug!
This disturbing experience motivated Mr Scrooge to campaign as a Member of Parliament for the City of London Constituency, the position from which he would be chosen to represent the Crown during the American Civil War.