Word reached Edinburgh on the 5th of February that the King had been beheaded; the Scottish Parliament lost no time in proclaiming Charles II as the new King. In Edinburgh, John Campbell, Earl of Loudoun and Lord Chancellor of Scotland, read a proclamation:(2.19)

“K. Charles behedit at Whytehall gate, in England ... one Tueƒday, the 30 of Januarij, 1649 ... Prince Charles proclaimed King of Grae Britane, France and Irland...”

  Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll, still the nominal leader of the Scottish Covenanters, the Kirk, now being at odds with the English Parliament, made contact with the eighteen year old, Prince Charles. The Scots were not prepared for such a drastic change as to have their traditional form of government, the monarchy, replaced by another form. They wanted to have a king at the head of their government, albeit a king who was not Roman Catholic. The Prince’s religious affiliation did not matter to the Kirk; they would insist that he convert if he wanted to claim his kingdom. To that end, the Argyll sent a group of commissioners to begin instructing the Prince on what would be expected of him:(2.20)

“For though they had declar’d his right to ƒucceƒsion, yet before he ƒhould be admitted to the exerciƒe of his royal power, he was to ‘Give ƒatiƒfaction to the kingdom in thoƒe things which concern’d the ƒecurity of religion, the unity betwixt the kingdoms, and the good and peace of that kingdom, according to the national covenant, and the ƒolemn league and covenant’.”

  Initially, Charles II had been given refuge at the Hague in the Netherlands. But when a group of men murdered Dr. Dorislaus in that city because he had been involved in the late King’s trial, the authorities asked the Prince to leave the country. They did not wish to become embroiled in another war with the English over harboring the Prince. He left the Netherlands and went to France to reside with his mother, the queen. Before long, though, the court of France asked the Prince to leave that country. In search of a refuge, the young heir to the throne of England and Scotland decided to go to the Isle of Jersey, which had remained uninvolved in the English Civil Wars.

  During the time that Charles II spent on the Isle of Jersey, the Scottish commissioners continued to indoctrinate him on the nature of the government to which he would be returning. Six things were specified by the commissioners:(2.21)

Firƒt, That he would ƒign the covenant, and paƒs an act for all perƒons to take it. Secondly, That he would paƒs the acts of parliament in Scotland, which were ratified by their laƒt two ƒeƒsions. Thirdly, That he would withdraw his commiƒsion from the marquis of Montroƒs. Fourthly, That he would put away all Papiƒts from about him. Fifthly, That he would appoint ƒome place in Holland to treat with commiƒsioners from the eƒtates of Scotland. Sixthly, That he would give a ƒpeedy anƒwer.

  Word was received by Charles and the commissioners that an English fleet had set sail for the Isle of Jersey. Charles was hurried away through France to Breda. The Scottish commissioners added a few more requirements to the foregoing list:

Firƒt, That all excommunicated perƒons ƒhould be forbid acceƒs to the court. Secondly, That the king would by ƒolemn oath, and under his hand and ƒeal, declare his allowance of the national covenant of Scotland, and of the ƒolemn league and covenant of the three nations. Thirdly, That he ƒhould confirm all acts of parliament, enjoining the ƒolemn league and covenant, eƒtabliƒhing Preƒbytery, the directory, the confeƒsion of faith and catechiƒm in the kingdom of Scotland, as they are already approved by the general aƒsembly of the kirk,and the parliament; and that he would obƒerve the ƒame in his own family, and ƒwear never to oppoƒe, or endeavor the alteration of the ƒame. Fourthly, That he would conƒent, that all civil matters might be determined by the preƒent and ƒubƒequent parliaments in Scotland, and all matters eccleƒiaƒtical, by the general aƒsembly of the kirk.

  Montrose, ever the Royalist, saw the possible restoration of the Stuart monarchy as a chance to overthrow Argyll’s Kirk government. He also made contact with Charles II, in order to offer his services to the Prince. The request Charles made of Montrose was to raise and army in the north Highlands of Scotland. Montrose went first to Orkney and then to Thurso, where he attempted, but failed, to raise his new army. Montrose simply did not have the same luck this time as he had five years earlier. Leslie sent Colonel Straughton against Montrose with three hundred horse. In April, Montrose’s army was easily defeated in battle by a Kirk force under Colonel Archibald Strachan at Carbisdale in the shire of Ross. Montrose was captured and sold by his captor, Macleod of Assynt to his Covenanter enemies for £25,000. Argyll directed that Montrose be taken to Edinburgh, where he was put on trial under the absurd charge of being a traitor to the king. He, of course, was found guilty and hanged in May, 1649.

  On 24 June, 1650, the Skidam, the ship on which Charles II was being transported from Holland to Scotland, landed at the small fishing village of Garmouth at the mouth of the River Spey. Before he could disembark, Charles was required to sign the Covenant. The voyage across the channel had taken nearly two weeks, due to bad weather, and during that time, Argyll’s commissioners continued indoctrinating the young King on the Covenant and his role in upholding it now that he was to take the throne.