Alix Rosoit and Arnould IV Oudenaarde are prominent figures in the 13th century and they leave important traces in the region: the hospital and the ramparts in Lessines (there still is a tower along the Dender, near the hospital, while another tower and a walkway are visible behind the new post office), in Oudenaarde on the right bank of the Schelde, opposite St. Walburga, the small church Our Lady of Pamele, jewel of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic.
Lord Arnold IV, over 60 years of age in 1242, was probably hoping for a peaceful end to his life. The King Louis IX of France, at war against King Henry III of England, took advantage of the treaty of allegiance signed earlier by the Flemish lords to call for help. Arnold IV was thus forced to return to war despite his age. He took care to draw up his will and to include a provision in it on behalf of the poor: the rich and powerful were in the habit of providing for a substantial donation of money to be distributed to the poor on the day of their funeral, in the hope of redeeming their sins and entering paradise.
Wounded at the Battle of Taillebourg near Poitiers, in 1242, Arnold died a few weeks later. His wife Alice, inheriting a considerable fortune, would undertake to fulfil her husband’s last wishes. Rather than distributing the money, she probably had the idea of “investing” in founding a hospital for the poor.