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The city was founded in 1671, making it one of the oldest cities in Quebec. It is named after Saint Hyacinth (Hyacinthe), the patron saint of Poland, whose feast day is celebrated on 1 May. The area around St-Hyacinthe was first settled by a French colony led by Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil from 1667 to 1670 as part of New France under the name "L'Acadie". In 1703, it became a parish municipality with its town status being officially recognized two years later. In 1845 and 1846 saw two rebellions against British rule: they were put down harshly by colonial authorities; this caused many people to leave for Ontario and other places where there had been an official promise that no such thing would happen again if they came back within six months; some stayed away permanently but most returned when things calmed down again after about three years or so.