Bucks lace was in evidence as early as the 16th century, though it didn't become fully developed until the 19th century. Production has continued up until the present, though recently mostly by hobbyists.
Bucks lace most likely originated in the latter half of the 16th century, when Huguenot refugees from Mechlin near Brussels and Lille, then in the Spanish Netherlands, arrived in the East Midlands. It was recorded in Flanders in the 1690s. By 1698 a full fourth of the population of Buckinghamshire, or about 30,000 people, were employed making lace. Children were taught how to make the lace beginning at age 5, and by age 12 could support themselves off the lace they made. It was believed that teaching the children when they were that young was the only way to gain the speed and skill needed to make lacemaking profitable after machine made lace became common.