Founded in 1682 by William Penn, Bucks County has had a long and distinguished history. Penn named the county after Buckinghamshire, the Penn family home in England.
The county seat was at Bristol from 1705 to 1726 when it was moved 10 miles north, to Newtown, which served as the county seat for 87 years. In 1752 the county, which originally extended to the New York Colony line, was reduced to its present boundaries. As settlement crept northward, agitation began for changing the county seat to a more central location. In 1810, Governor Simon Snyder signed an Act appointing a commission to select a new site. The hilltop tract they chose has continued to serve as the seat of Bucks County for almost 200 years. Since 1812, three successive courthouses have occupied the site.