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Engel studied law in Kiel and Heidelberg until 1867 and became a Notar (roughly Notary public) in Schleswig-Holstein a year later. He joined the public service of Hamburg in 1880 as a judge and was promoted to the office of president of the Landgericht Hamburg in 1901. He maintained this post until his retirement in 1917. On the political stage he was elected as a right-wing member of the Hamburgische Bürgerschaft in 1887 and served as president of this body between 1902 and 1913, when he stepped down as a MP.
| President of the Hamburg Parliament