Engel Michielsz. de Ruyter (Flushing 1649 - 1683) was born as the second son of the famous Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter from his second marriage to Cornelia Engels. Like his father, he started his naval career at a rather young age; at fifteen he joined Michiel de Ruyter on his expeditions to the West-African coast and the Battles of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. It was not uncommon for captains to bring their sons during their voyages, as it was a perfect opportunity for them to learn the trade while being paid by the Dutch Admiralty.
In 1666, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, Engel officially went into the service of the Dutch Admiralty as a Midshipman. His career progressed swiftly and in 1669 he became captain in Ordinary, receiving a permanent appointment with a yearly income, which was quite rare in the 17th century.
For the Third Anglo-Dutch War he joined his father's fleet and fought as Captain of the Deventer in the famous Battle of Solebay in 1672, where he was wounded by a splinter in his chest. For the next three battles he sailed ship on the Waesdorp. This change of command saved his life, as the Deventer was run aground in the First Battle of Schooneveld and sank. After the war he was promoted to Rear-Admiral. In 1678 he was finally promoted to Vice-Admiral, the highest rank he would hold.
Engel de Ruyter assisted the preacher Gerard Brandt with a biography on his father and summarized the logbooks of his travels, making them more accessible. He never married and died childless in 1683.
A portrait of Engel de Ruyter by Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680) and Willem van de Velde II (1633-1707), dated 1669, is in the Mauritshuis, The Hague. Another portrait by Jan Lievens, dated 1680, is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.