Albert de Gresle
Albert de Gresle was the first baron of Manchester. Initially the Gresle family, who were Normans, were not residents in Manchester. Stewards represented the lords of the manor and it continued to grow in their absence.
The first lord of the manor to actually live in Manchester was Robert Gresle (1174–1230), his presence led to an influx of skilled workers. In the early 13th century, Manchester was not under the control of the Gresle family for a period of time. Robert Gresle was one of the barons who made King John sign the Magna Carta. Gresle was excommunicated for his role in the rebellion and when King John later ignored the terms of the Magna Carta, Gresle forfeited his lands. King John died in 1216 and the land was returned to Robert Gresle on behalf of King Henry III. Medieval Manchester was centered around the manor house and the church of St Mary mentioned in the Domesday Book. The castle in Manchester overlooked the rivers Irk and Irwell where the Chethams School of Music stands today. The Gresle family directly leased land to tenants and created burgage tenements for indirect rent.
The following is an abstract of the charter quoted in the note to the concord No. 29, page 162.
Albert Gresle, to all his friends, as well French as English, sendeth greeting. Know ye that I have given, and by this my charter confirmed to Roger Gresle, son of Horm, and his heirs, all my lands of Haistune, with all the appurtenances, and all the land called Osolue's Crouet, and all Hetune with all the appurtenances, and large liberties, easements, and free customs; to hold of me and my heirs, as the same Roger held of my father, and for the same service, to wit, for Haistun twenty shillings, or one sor sparrow-hawk, and for Hetune in like manner twenty shillings. Witnesses, Roger de Merci (Marsey, who died 1185), John de Ancotes, Ralph de Birun, Robert son of Seifrid, Robert son of Henry, Geoffrey Gresle, William de Merci (Marsey), and Bernard Gresle.
— Albert Gresle, Kuerden s MSS., Heralds' College, London, Vol. III., K. fol. 6 b.
Mamchestre pg 36 chap IV
Albert favorite of Roger De poictiu living 1086 -1100 held land in a wide circle of lands of which Horwich Moor was the center, later termed the Upper Bailiwick of the Lordship. He is generally regarded as the first baron of manchester. Robert was succeeded by his son Albert who lived 1135 - 1166 he called himself senex or old Albert his son having the same name. In 1166 this Albert gave Thomas de Perponte three carves of land at Ruhwinton and Lestoc for the third of one knights fee.
- 'Appendix: Additional material to fines', Final Concords for Lancashire, Part 1: 1189-1307 (1899), pp. 216–219. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=52543&strquery=gresle Date accessed: 8 February 2009.