Vincent Spaulding is the person Wilson meets who is tasked with explaining the origins and purpose of the Red Headed League. Of course, as we later learn, and as Holmes uncovers through the course of his deductions, the League is actually a fabrication, used as a front by a criminal gang who simply want to keep Wilson out of his shop for four hours every day. However, according to Spaulding's story, the Red Headed League had been founded years earlier by an American millionaire, who had red hair and who therefore had a particular affinity and concern for other red-headed men. This millionaire was supposedly rather eccentric, and when he died he left a significant fortune with instructions for it to be handed out to other men with red hair in return for the most simple duties. According to Spaulding's story, this man, Ezekiah Hopkins, simply wanted to provide for other men with red hair.