There were distinctly aristocratic ways of patronising the Church. A magnate did not lavish endowment on the Church solely to exalt himself in the eyes of the world; but the sincerity of his motives was consciously or unconsciously mixed with other, more worldly, concerns. It is that tinge of worldliness which concerns us here. Magnates were wealthy enough to be able to found entire abbeys unassisted, and indeed, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries were expected to do so. When and how they set up their monasteries could be questions of style and fashion, or family tradition, as much as piety and grace. The accumulation of resources that generations of aristocrats would plough into the Church can leave even the modern historian deeply impressed; and historians tend to be cynical, both by nature and training. The magnificence of the investment would hardly be less impressive to their contemporaries.