This is from News from the English Countryside, from December 1812:
A person by the name of Baldock who died lately at Canterbury, exhibited an instance of the accumulation of wealth from very small beginnings, in fact from nothing. He died at the age of little more than 60, possessed of one million one hundred thousand pounds. He was originally a poor boy employed to look after cows, and remarkable for dirtiness and slovenliness. He afterwards carried the hod as a bricklayer’s labourer, and, at length, by dint of industry and parsimony, with some assistance, he amassed money enough to build the barracks at Canterbury, which he let to Government at the rare of 6 per week for each soldier, a practice which proved so profitable to hm that in the course of a few years the whole building became his own, and continued to acquire wealth in various ways, till at the time of his death it amounted to the enormous sum stated above.
This is an incredible story, but why did he do it? I’ve read a few stories of poor people making fortunes, but why?