This drawing originally belonged to a group of twenty drawings from a portfolio inherited by the Rev. Daniel Constable Whalley from his Aunt, Constable's younger sister Mary.
This group of early drawings provide us with the main source of knowledge of the development of Constable's style and the changes in his subject matter between 1796 and 1799, a crucial phase in the artist's development, during which time he was debating whether to become an artist professionally. Stylistically we can see the influence of J.T. Smith being replaced by that of R.R. Reinagle (see G. Reynolds, op.cit, p. 22, no. 99.6).
The penwork in the present example is close to that in G. Reynolds, op.cit, nos. 96.6-9, 96. 11-17 and 96.19 and Reynolds suggests a date of circa 1796, although the present drawing contains a delicate use of wash similar to G. Reynolds, op.cit, no. 97.12.