Both John and Edward Ambler and their youngest brother Jaquelin were considered very distinguished people in the James City area. John and Edward both held seats in the House of Burgesses, and Jaquelin served on the Council of State, as Treasurer of Virginia, and was active in the Revolutionary War. Jaquelin Ambler married Rebecca Burwell, of another prominent family in colonial Virginia, and it is likely that the Burwells also attended church on the Main.
While the history of the Main Church remains incomplete, it is believed that the four rectors of the church were William Preston, William Yates, William Bland and Bishop James Madison (a second cousin to President James Madison). William Bland is also credited with serving as a bishop of Bruton Parish and with marrying Elizabeth Yates, the daughter of his predecessor, who is supposedly buried at the Main. Still, the most prominent rector of the Parish was probably Bishop James Madison who later went on to be a president of William and Mary College and an important member in the Virginia Diocese.
During the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Greenspring took place on the property of the parish a
nd in its immediate vicinity. On July 6, 1781, the forces of General Wayne (serving with General Lafayette) met the far superior British forces of General Cornwallis. Though outnumbered 8:1 in battle, the American forces were able to retreat from the battle and later met the forces of Cornwallis in a decisive victory at Yorktown.
Between 30-50 British, American, and French soldiers were killed in the Battle of Greenspring, and it is speculated that some of these soldiers might be buried in the cemetery of the Church on the Main.