This series is an offshoot from the main series of plea rolls of the Court of Common Pleas, created in 1583 to contain the enrolments effecting the collusive legal procedure called the common recovery, but also including non-collusive proceedings to recover land by writ of right.
The recovery rolls also took from the main series the warrants of attorney in recoveries, the section of the roll for the enrolment of deeds, and the recording of the payment of king's or queen's silver for licence to levy final concords. They continue in unbroken series until 1838, four years after the abolition of recoveries, when their remaining business returned to the main series and the recovery rolls came to an end. They did not decline in size to the same extent as the plea rolls. From 1762 they include enclosure awards, which appear in far greater numbers than they do in any of the other series of enrolments in which they are found.
After fines and recoveries were abolished in 1834, the series ends with two rolls continuing the entries of pleas of land by writ of right, payments for licences to concord, and sections for the enrolment of deeds and writings acknowledged down to Michaelmas 1837; after that, those entries reverted to the plea rolls.