Charles, always the schemer, made his escape from where he was essentially under house arrest at Hampton Court in November of 1647. The King reached the Isle of Wight, where he was once more taken into custody. On 27 December, while being held in Carisbrook Castle on the Isle of Wight, Charles was visited by, and negotiated an agreement with, representatives of the the conservative wing of the Scottish Parliament. The agreement was called the Engagement, by which Charles agreed to establish Presbyterianism throughout England for a three year trial period. He also agreed to disband the English army. The Scots who were party to this agreement became known as the Engagers. Fearing a replay of his deceits, the Engagement was not accepted by all of the General Assembly, and therefore came to nothing. But it should also be remembered that the King really had no power by this time. The real power lay in the hands of the army and Oliver Cromwell. The majority of the members of the Scottish Parliament realized that the Solemn League and Covenant was meaningless in view of the fact that Cromwell was a devout Puritan, and the army followed his example.
King Charles I
~ Source unknown.
The English Parliament also attempted to gain the acquiescence of the King to a peaceful compromise while he was on the Isle of Wight. They sent a delegation with the promise of liberation for the King if he would agree to four things: 1.) The investing of the militia in the two houses of Parliament. 2.) The revoking of all proclamations and declarations against the Parliament. 3.) The voiding of all titles of honour that he had conferred since his leaving the Parliament, and the coincident avoiding of granting titles of honour unless agreed to by the Parliament. 4.) The power of both houses of the Parliament to sit and adjourn as they saw fit.
The King refused to sign the four bills and his refusal was duly debated in a session of the English Parliament. The discussion became quite heated and it was then that talk of removing the King from his throne first surfaced.
On 3 January, 1648 the English House of Commons debated the necessity of enacting a law forbidding any further discussions with Charles Stuart. Known as the Vote Of No Addresses, the law, which passed by a large majority, was aimed at preventing any additional occurrences of negotiations such as the Engagement. A Declaration upholding the Vote Of No Addresses was passed by the Parliament on 11 February. By March, demonstrations in favor of restoring the King to his rightful place in power were staged in London. The House of Commons voted, on 28 April, by a substantial majority, that the government should remain in the order of King, Lords, and then Commons. Word spread of a number of plots to free the monarch from his imprisonment on the Isle of Wight. It was in the midst of this fervor that Charles II, Duke of York, escaped to safety on the Continent.