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The territory of New France was divided into seigneuries in order to ensure the colony's defence. Longueuil was founded in 1657 by Charles Le Moyne, a merchant from Ville-Marie (present day Montreal), as a seigneurie. According to Abbé Faillon, Charles Le Moyne initially named his settlement "Village du Bayou" ("Bayou Village"), but another writing on the founding of the city indicated that it was renamed "Longueuil" because one voyageur said its shores were so long they seemed endless when viewed from across the St Lawrence River; this is consistent with other writings which state that Longueuillois are known for their sense of humour and love for wordplay.