Borne was originally the richterambt (judicial district) Borne, made up of the Marke Senderen (Zenderen) and Bi den Broeke (lit. "by the brook", Bornerbroek) and the hamlet of Hertme. In 1655 Hertme has evolved into an independent marke.
Although largely agricultural in nature, there was also a well-established textile cottage-industry in the region. At the beginning of the 18th century, Salomon Jacob Spanjaard, born in Germany, settled in Borne as a travelling salesman, buying the produce of this cottage-industry and dealing in second-hand clothing. In 1828 this led to the establishment of "De Spanjaard" as a textile-factory, which was a major employer in the town up to the Second World War. Borne was the first Dutch village to get electricity, in 1895, thanks to the vision of Rendo Wolter Hendrikus Hofstede Crull, who earned his degree in Germany. Later he worked in the United States.
Borne is the sister city of the German town Rheine.