The present sheet is a series of figure studies for a finished watercolour of The Dinner in Mote Park, Maidstone after the Royal Review of the Kentish Volunteers on 1st August 1799. The watercolour is now in the Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery and a compositional study is in the Paul Mellon Center at Yale (see exhibition catalogue for English Drawings and Watercolours 1550-1850 in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, April-July 1972, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, no. 84).
The watercolour depicts the Earl of Romney, Lord Lieutenant of Kent giving a vast open-air banquet in honour of the 5,000 volunteers for the Kentish regiments, who were about to be sent to war against Napoleon. Having inspected the troops, King George III and Queen Charlotte dined in the royal marquee while the volunteers sat at 91 tables in the park. The watercolour was engraved in aquatint and published on 1 March 1800 and proved very popular.
Alexander was born and died in Maidstone and so the subject matter is particularly poignant for the artist. He included a self-portrait in the finished watercolour.