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In most historical populations, female death rates exceed male death rates during the reproductive ages.  Deaths related to childbirth were an important contributor to this pattern, but maternal mortality may not have been the only cause of excess female mortality.   This paper revisits the first historical estimates of maternal mortality constructed by Roger Schofield from family reconstitutions of English villages covering 1540 to 1837.   Sex differences in adult mortality are estimated by comparing wives and husbands in the two years following a birth.  Event history methods applied to deaths by time since the last birth are used to separate deaths resulting from childbirth from other causes of death.  These new methods confirm and expand upon Schofield’s estimates of maternal mortality.  Female mortality was higher than male mortality even when deaths following childbirth are removed, and variations in maternal mortality over time were similar to changes in background mortality for both men and women.