The political and military situation in Ireland took an even more complex turn following the outbreak of civil war in England in August 1642. Initially, Protestants in Ireland sought to avoid taking overt sides in the developing conflict between Charles I and the English Parliament, preferring to focus instead on the war with the Catholic Confederates. The religious conflict thus continued to take precedence over any thoughts of loyalty to the king. Gradually, however, the knock-on effects of the war in England began to have an impact, first of all restricting the flow of supplies of men, money and munitions to the Irish government, and then influencing loyalties among the Protestant population as the choice between favouring the king or the English Parliament became ever more stark and increasingly reliant on which side could guarantee sustained and effective support. The king’s decision in January 1643 to authorise his leading Irish Protestant supporter, Ormond, to negotiate for a cessation of arms with the Confederates as a forerunner to a formal military alliance polarised positions still further. Charles aimed to augment his forces in England with Irish troops with a view to overwhelming his parliamentarian foes. For their part the Confederates welcomed the opportunity to enter into formal negotiations with the king as it gave them the chance to highlight their overall monarchism while at the same time pushing for their own demands to be met.