In late 1599 the population of York was able to witness a fairly extraordinary sight. In York Castle, the Catholic prisoners of conscience, as they saw themselves (though others regarded them as dangerous political dissidents), were being compelled to listen, once a week, to a Protestant sermon. These sermons were preached at them by a slate of godly ministers. This exercise was something the prisoners actively contested by murmuring, blocking their ears, shouting, and attempting to rush out of the hall. The prisoners' antics provoked the authorities into increasingly coercive measures to make them hear the Word of God. This outwardly rather ridiculous and unseemly charade went on, week after week, for nearly a year, at which point the whole business was abandoned by the lord president, Lord Burghley, as a waste of time. However, by decoding the extant manuscript narrative that we have of the sermon series and by looking at who was involved in this business and why, and what political messages were being sent during the course of it, we can say something about the popular politics of late Elizabethan England. In particular, we can comment on the strategies adopted by those who were anticipating the moment, surely not far off, when Tudor power would be extinguished and Elizabeth's crown would pass to her successor.