When Charles I turned himself over to the covenanting army at Newark in early May 1646 he had clearly accepted that the war in England was lost and that the chances of receiving timely support from either Scotland or Ireland were limited. While the exiled Prince of Wales and the Queen Consort tried to keep the flames of royalist resistance alive in the three kingdoms, the king held talks with both the covenanting regime and the English Parliament, looking to exploit the divisions that had opened up between these erstwhile allies over religion. This ended in stalemate, and in February 1647 the frustrated covenanting leadership saw little option other than to hand the king over to the English Parliament in return for a financial settlement. Nevertheless, the situation remained fluid. In Scotland, Hamilton’s return to the political fold heralded the rebuilding of a moderate party within the Scottish Parliament, albeit one that clearly accepted the validity of the Solemn League and Covenant. What resulted in December 1647 was the Engagement treaty in which Hamilton and his supporters undertook to invade England on the king’s behalf in return for his guarantee that Presbyterianism would be established south of the border for three years. Ormond also featured prominently as part of an overall plan that envisaged the build-up of a new royalist party in Ireland, timed to coincide with the outbreak of royalist risings in England. However, Hamilton’s military efforts soon met with disaster. The English risings were crushed before he could cross the border, and his own army was routed at Preston in August 1648. Hamilton was captured and subsequently executed, and Scotland once again fell under the grip of the Kirk Party.