In this article, I address the use of witness testimony by medieval and early-modern historians of England. Although the idea that such evidence straightforwardly represents the thoughts and feelings of quite lowly people has long been discredited, I think that some part of this assumption still haunts the thinking of our postmodern, or cultural turn, historiography. To put it rather too bluntly: the old, empiricist quest for “real voices” in testimonies has to some extent been replaced by a contemporary quest for “real discourses.” That is to say, the utilization of testimonies by historians often seems to boil down to the careful extraction of the particular discourse under examination—gender, class, childhood—from the legal discourses acknowledged to be inherent in witness testimonies produced in law courts. Now, this is a severely reductionist account, and later I will elaborate on the varieties and subtleties of current approaches. Nonetheless, this assumption that we can simply extrapolate social discourses about “x” from the legal discourses of the depositions seems to me somewhat flawed, because it presumes that premodern witnesses were simply conduits of discourse, whose testimony was nonetheless decisively shaped by the machinations of the legal counsel. In fact, as I will argue here, medieval witnesses were quite capable of manipulating such discourses, using clichés to tell the court what they thought it wanted to hear. In the subsequent discussion, I will look in detail at two intimately related cases from the Bishop of London's consistory court to make this point more explicit. First, I will relate the basic facts of these cases: the narrative of the events and the procedure of the courts. I will then address the historiography of witness testimony in greater detail, at the same time demonstrating the way in which the examples from the consistory counter the assumptions of this historiography. I will present different ways of reading my own examples using different positions within the scholarly literature, before showing how the case upsets even the most sophisticated of such readings. Overall, I argue that as well as considering the “construction” of the testimony by lawyers and legal counsels, and the “deconstruction” of such discourses by historians, we must begin to think about the “preconstruction” of the testimony by witnesses; their own integration of legalistic ideas into the fabric of their depositions. Finally, I will conclude by considering some of the wider implications of this argument for the use of witness depositions, and for the study of “law and society” more generally in the medieval and early-modern periods.