Campaign of the Month: August 2011
Le Ballet de l'Acier
Hôpital Saint Barthélémy
In 1296, Alexandre Aufrédy, a Rochelais merchant, outfitted seven ships and filled them with salt and wine for a trading voyage to Africa. Aufrédy invested his entire fortune in the adventure.
Years passed with no word on the expedition. Bankrupt, Aufrédy was forced to sell his townhome and whatever was left of his property to satisfy his many creditors; spurned by his family and friends, only his wife remained by his side.
In 1303, the fleet returned at lasr, the holds of the ships filled with gold, ivory, spices, and precious wood. The captain of the fleet found Aufrédy panhandling in a poor neighborhood and informed him that of the success of the adventure.
Now wealthy beyond his imaginings, Aufrédy did not forget the humble circumstances to which he was reduced and used his fortune to build and endow a hospital for the sick and poor of La Rochelle.