Cornelis van Ruyven, born circa 1630 in Amsterdam, was appointed Secretary to the New Netherland Council in 1653. He became a full member of the Council in 1659, and held both appointments until 1664. Van Ruyven also held office as Receiver-General of the Port of New Amsterdam from June 1656 to September 1663.
When the Dutch colony came under English rule, Cornelis van Ruyven was among the Dutch residents who swore the oath of allegiance to the English Crown. The English Governor, Francis Lovelace, wished to encourage the colony’s Dutch trade and appointed van Ruyven to the office of Receiver-General of Customs, a position in which van Ruyven was responsible for administering the commercial laws of the colony as well as collecting duties. Van Ruyven was appointed to the English Colonial Council in 1669 and held that office until the colony once more came under Dutch rule in 1673. The newly-appointed Dutch Governor, Anthony Colve, selected Cornelis van Ruyven as his emissary, requesting him to return to the authorities in Holland with an urgent appeal for military reinforcements.
Cornelis van Ruyven’s owned a five acre farm at Flatbush but is listed as residing on Block L, Lot 7 in the Castello plan of New Amsterdam.