The records of Inquisition and of instance (or private) litigation within the church courts are singularly attractive to scholars. Both are associated with the production of depositions, the written records of the responses given by deponents to questions put to them. Such depositions offer the tantalizing – but perhaps elusive – possibility of recovering the actual words, thoughts, beliefs and experience of a variety of people, female and male, old and young, poor and wealthy. John Arnold, however, has used Inquisition records to argue that deponents' responses were shaped by the questions posed and that the questions posed in turn reflected the Inquisitors' own agenda and understanding of the nature of heresy and of heretics. We are permitted to see, therefore, those who were subjected to the process of Inquisition only as they are represented within an inquisitorial discourse, which, in Arnold's words, ‘cannot recapture the “true” voices of the past’. Arnold's statement is of course a truism. How can we ever recapture ‘true’ voices and how would we recognize one if we did? In the absence of archival recordings we can never access past speech directly. We are dependent at best on voices as ventriloquized by the clerks who recorded the depositions more or less conscientiously and oft en in a language – Latin – other than the vernacular of the deponent.