MH-E was originally written by Brian Reid in 1983 and has changed hands several times since then. Jim Larus wanted to do something similar for GNU Emacs, and ended up completely rewriting it that same year. In 1989, Stephen Gildea picked it up and added many improvements. Bill Wohler then took over in 2000 and moved its development to SourceForge. Since 2016, MH-E development occurs within the Emacs repository.