Estate’s not quite the right word here

A husband is being held on suspicion of murder after allegedly shooting his wife dead and then attempting to kill himself on the Prime Minister’s family’s estate in Somerset.

Stanley Johnson, the Prime Minister’s father, who was friends with the couple, expressed the family’s deep shock and paid tribute to the victim who died in a cottage on his 500-acre farm.

Sure, it’s possible to call a 500 acre farm an estate. But it wouldn’t really be normal to do so now, would it? A 500 acre farm is a 500 acre farm. An estate is a large house surrounded by grounds with, perhaps, a Home Farm and then other farms surrounding under the one ownership, perhaps let out as tenancies.

Just grates a bit to call one t’other.

15 thoughts on “Estate’s not quite the right word here”

  1. Yet another lefty ad-hom. Makes him out to be a land-owning monster with his boot on the neck of the peasants.

  2. Nonsense.

    A farm with dependencies is an estate.

    Tim, you are daily to the English language what Capt. Potato is to economics.

  3. I take it that “family estate” means his father’s farm? The father has six children. He seems also to have a wife. So if the farm is indeed his – rather than being owned by a trust – I doubt that Boris is going to inherit the lot. If it’s owned by a trust then it’s even less likely that Boris will scoop the pool.

    Where I grew up a 500 acre farm was indeed just a farm, pronounced “ferm”. But then we were not privy to the endless subtleties of English social distinctions.

  4. Isn’t this just another attempt by the meeja to try and reinforce anti-Boris prejudice? Inferring the “Eton, Oxford blah blah blah” PM is even more of a toff than we imagine. Having said that, never thought I’d see such in the Torygraph.

  5. The photo doesn’t look like a tenant farmer, does it? Unless he makes a habit of waiting on the chickens in a dinner jacket. So the question would be, does old man Johnson have an estate manager in addition to a farm manager? If he doesn’t, then it’s not an estate.

  6. I’d agree with Tim and BiS – an estate needs more than one farm, most of them let out to tenants, although one could be farmed directly or through a manager.

    Otherwise (as Tractor Gent says), there’s no difference between an estate and a farm.

    It does seem to be getting more common for people to describe their place as the Wherever Estate, but that’s just pretentiousness. Last year I was walking across Guy Ritchie’s place and noticed that they have signs up describing it as the Ashcombe Park Estate, whereas it looks like it’s all run as a single thing.

    It might be different in Scotland, where an estate often seems to be under single management (the tenants being subsistence crofters, not substantial farms), but that’s no excuse in Somerset.

  7. I must confess I immediately assumed this would be from the Times, which seems to have an entire department devoted to bashing Boris. Given Danny Fink is besties with Call Me Dave and Phil Collins – one of the other leader writers – used to write speeches for Blair, it’s not completely surprising, but the Times has increasingly outed itself as the voice of the Remainiac establishment – who incidentally now seem to be embracing Green in lieu of the EU as part of their Globalist Power Grab.

  8. On balance, Rhoda’s comment is probably the most apt but consider this:

    the victim who died in a cottage on his 500-acre farm.

    The use of the indefinite article suggests that in all probability there is more than a single cottage on the farm. There’s nothing unusual about that as farms often had a number of (tied) cottages for their farm labourers when farming used to be a labour-intensive business.

    These cottages where they have not be sold off are now often let to tenants and this involves the landowner in all the usual business of a landlord including maintenance, rent collecting and so on. This is not a farming activity and is one of many non-farming activities (weddings, paint-balling, 4WD demonstrating and goodness knows what else) that take place on farmland nowadays. If these activities are retained in house rather than subcontracted out, the chances are that they will be handled by an estate rather than a farm office.

    Is the distinction important? Not a bit of it: an insignificant mote in a timber-yard of beams.

  9. @Mark T


    I stopped buying The Sunday Times in late 90s as they went full on Blair supporters and “bias by omission was obvious”. Switched to Sunday Telegraph, ditched it when full on Cameron sycophancy and poor journalism ruined it

    imo Daily Mail has best columnists and investigative journalists, but their news is to shallow and click-baity

  10. Offence Archeoligists at work again, aided by Anti-Tory journos

    Tory MP faces calls to quit after video emerges of him exposing himself in a pub (in 2007)
    “Mr Grundy can be seen standing in front of the camera and dropping his trousers. The voice of a young woman can be heard instructing him to lift his shirt to reveal his genitals, which he does.”

    Click-bait headline which LBC know is misleading from their own description. As we know from Boris Burka Left don’t read beyond headline

    When you read “exposing himself to a woman in the pub” that sounds bad, but actually in the video the woman eggs him on to expose himself. Wonder who is calling for him to resign, Labour MPs and supporters no doubt

    No reason for him to quit over an event that happened in 2007 and all parties involved consented

    Plus: Ex-Tory candidate calls James O’Brien over being dropped following “lewd” photo

    O’Brien doesn’t want to talk to him – hand signals

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