Bertrand De Born, viscount of Hautefort, a French troubadour and warrior, born in the castle of Born, Perigord, in the middle of the 12th century, died about 1209. He belonged to an ancient family which traced its origin to the duke of Aquitaine, and early contended with his brother for the supremacy over the vast family domain, which contained 1,000 serfs. Richard Coeur de Lion took the dispossessed brother's part in revenge for Bertrand's satirical lays, upon which the latter espoused the cause of Henry II. and took a prominent and mischievous part in these family broils and wars, especially as Aquitaine was threatened both by France and England. After the death of Richard, whom he as well as other princes had instigated to go to the Holy Land without himself contributing anything to the crusades excepting spirited songs, he lived in retirement, as was believed in a monastery, and the fief of Hautefort was transferred in 1210 by his son Bertrand (who also wrote several songs) to the king of France. Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of Henry II., was said to have been one of his patronesses; he was also in love with Helena, sister of Richard, though he celebrated Maenz, daughter of the viscount of Turenne, and wife of Talleyrand of Perigord, as the special object of his adoration.
Dante places him in his inferno for leading the youthful king to quarrel with his father; and Thierry as well as Sismondi refers to the influence of his lyrics and of his sword and counsels in stimulating and embittering the spirit of contention of his day. - See Laurens, Le Tyrtee du Moyen Age, ou histoire de Bertrand de Born, vicomte d' Hauteford (Paris, 1863).