This candid outdoor sketch of men in tall hats and women in bonnets continues half way across folio 28 verso opposite (D35807; Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 27v). Although they are shown without any surroundings, Finberg noted the group as ‘on board a packet’,1 that is to say a commercial cargo and passenger vessel – a steamer, by this date – of the sort that would have taken Turner on his customary journeys down the River Thames to Margate (see under folio 10 verso; D35776).
The people are all turned away in a line and seem to be watching something, so they may well be looking over the rail of a ship, or perhaps waiting for one beside the sea. See also the hastily rendered, smaller groupings on folios 14 verso and 15 recto (D35784–D35785).
Fiberg 1909, II, p.1178.