In 1667 he was the deputy chosen by the states of Holland to accompany Admiral de Ruyter in his famous expedition to Chatham.
He again accompanied De Ruyter in 1672 and took an honourable part in the great naval fight at Sole Bay against the united English and French fleets.
After several battles, in which the advantage was generally on the side of the French, a decisive engagement took place near Catania, on the 20th of April 1676, when the Dutch fleet was totally routed and de Ruyter mortally wounded.
His victory over the Dutch in 1665, and his drawn battle with De Ruyter in 1672, show that he was a good naval commander as well as an excellent administrator.
The Spaniards replied by appealing to Holland, who sent a fleet under Ruyter into the Mediterranean.
De Ruyter was sent into the Channel to convoy the outward-bound convoys, and meet the home-coming trade.
The statesgeneral under the skilful management of the Grand Pensionary, John de Witt, retaliated by sending de Ruyter from the Mediterranean, where he was cruising against the Barbary pirates, to follow Holmes.
De Ruyter re-established the Dutch posts in Gambia, and, though he failed to retake New Amsterdam, did much injury to English trade before he returned to Holland.
De Ruyter was named commander-in-chief, and John de Witt, or later his brother Cornelius, accompanied the admiral as delegate of the states-general to support his authority.
De Ruyter covered the return of the trade to Holland.
During the 2nd of June the fleets engaged again, and on this day the self-will of Van Tromp, who commanded the rear in the battle, and the misconduct of some of the ships in the van, prevented De Ruyter from making full use of his numbers.
But the fruits of the victory were less than they would have been if it had been properly followed up. The British fleet withdrew to its own coast and within a month De Ruyter was at sea again, hoping to effect a junction with a French squadron.
The French failed to keep tryst, and De Ruyter was watched by Rupert, who was now in sole command, Monk having been recalled to London to take command amid the confusion caused by the fire and the plague.
The Dutch, being well aware of the disarmed condition of the English coast, sent out a powerful fleet again under the command of De Ruyter in June.
De Ruyter remained cruising in the Channel till the peace of Breda was signed in July.
The ships at the head of the English line at last tacked to the support of the centre, and at evening De Ruyter drew off.
The distress of the Republic prevented it from equipping more than 55 ships, but the patriotism of the race was roused to white heat, and in De Ruyter they possessed an admiral of consummate skill and heroic character.
On the 28th of May Rupert and d'Estrees, believing that De Ruyter was too much afraid of their superior numbers to venture to sea, sent in a squadron of light vessels and fire-ships to attack him, but he took the offensive at once, scattering the light squadron, and falling with energy on the restof the fleet, which, not being in expectation of a vigorous assault, was taken at a disadvantage.
De Ruyter concentrated on the van and centre of the allies, and in spite of his great inferiority of numbers was able to be superior at the point of attack.
The allies were compelled to retreat, and De Ruyter, satisfied with having averted the invasion of his country, anchored at West-Kappel.
The French were kept in play by a small squadron under Bankert, while De Ruyter drove Prince Rupert in the centre out of the line, and in the rear Cornelius van Tromp fought a desperate duel with the English rear division commanded by Sir E.
Spain, unable to defend its possessions singlehanded, appealed to the Dutch for naval help. In September 1675 De Ruyter was sent into the Mediterranean with 18 sail of the line and four fire-ships.
When Duquesne appeared on the 7th of January 1676 near the Lipari Islands, De Ruyter allowed them to get the weather-gage, and on the 8th of January waited passively for their attack.
De Ruyter made his way to Palermo, which was in the hands of the Spaniards.
De Ruyter, who led the van, was mortally wounded.
After the battle the allies retired to Syracuse, where De Ruyter died, and where their ships were mostly destroyed by the French a month later.
In 1667 the Dutch fleet under De Ruyter advanced up the Medway, levelling the fort at Sheerness and burning the ships at Chatham.
The four days' fight (11th-14th of June 1666) ended in a hard-won victory by de Ruyter over Monk, but later in this year (August 3rd) de Ruyter was beaten by Ayscue and forced to take refuge in the Dutch harbours.
He had his revenge, for on the 22nd of June 1667 the Dutch fleet under de Ruyter and Cornelius de Witt made their way up the Medway as far as Chatham and burnt the English fleet as it lay at anchor.
Meanwhile the fleet under de Ruyter had encountered a combined English and French force in Solebay (7th of June), and after a desperate fight, in which the French had but slackly supported their allies, had more then held its own.
On sea in 1673 de Ruyter, in a series of fiercely contested battles, successfully maintained his strenuous and dogged conflict against the united English and French fleets.
The leaders on both sides - the Netherlanders Tromp (killed in action on the 10th of August 1653) and de Ruyter, the Englishmen Blake and Monk - covered themselves with equal glory.
In the last-named fight Admiral de Ruyter was badly wounded and died (29th of April).
It was due to his exertions as an organizer and a diplomatist quite as much as to the brilliant seamanship of Admiral de Ruyter, that the terms of the treaty of peace signed at Breda (July 31, 1667), on the principle of uti possidetis, were so honourable to the United Provinces.
LYMAN JUDSON GAGE (1836-), American financier, was born at De Ruyter, Madison county, New York, on the 28th of June 1836.
Sent a fleet under the duc de Vivonne to Sicily, which defeated the Dutch under de Ruyter in 1676.
In February 1665 the ill-omened war with Holland was declared, during the progerss of which it became apparent how greatly the condition of the national services and the state of administration had deteriorated since the Commonwealth, and to what extent England was isolated and abandoned abroad, Michael de Ruyter, on the 13th of June 1667, carrying out his celebrated attack on Chatham and burning several warships.
In 1672 Southwold Bay, usually abbreviated as Solebay, was the scene of a battle between the English fleet under the duke of York and the Dutch under Ruyter, the French fleet holding aloof.