After having executed many capital pictures for the States of Holland, Van de Velde was invited to England by Charles II., who had become acquainted with his talents during his residence in Holland. He arrived in London about 1675, well advanced in years, and the king settled upon him a pension of £100 per annum until his death, in 1693, as appears from this inscription on his tomb-stone in St. James' church: "Mr. William van de Velde, senior, late painter of sea-fights to their Majesties, King Charles II. and King James, died in 1693." He was accompanied by his son, who was also taken into the service of the king, as appears from an order of the privy seal, as follows: "Charles the Second, by the grace of God, &c., to our dear Cousin, Prince Rupert, and the rest of our commissioners for executing the place of Lord High Admiral of England, greeting. Whereas, we have thought fit to allow the salary of £100 per annum unto William van de Velde the Elder, for taking and making draughts of sea-fights; and the like salary of £100 per annum unto William van de Velde the younger, for putting the said draughts in color for our particular use; our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby authorize and require you to issue your orders for the present and the future establishment of said salaries to the aforesaid William van de Velde the Elder and William van de Velde the Younger, to be paid unto them, or either of them, during our pleasure, and for so doing, these our letters shall be your sufficient warrant and discharge. Given under our privy-seal, at our palace of Westminster, the 20th day of February, in the 26th year of our reign."

Many of the large pictures of sea-fights in England, and doubtless in Holland, bearing the signature W. van de Velde, and generally attributed to the son, were executed by him from the designs of his father. Such are the series of twelve naval engagements and sea-ports in the palace at Hampton Court, though signed like the best works of the younger van de Velde; they are dated 1676 and 1682.