Most of the roads built and declared at the outset in Colonial Hong Kong in 1841 were close to the waterfront. The Magistracy was not established until 1847 and the land on which it was built was previously largely unoccupied. Arbuthnot Road is rather inclined, and runs between Hollywood Road and Caine Road, the latter of which was not named until 1859. It is likely that it was not named or created until the 1850s or later; it was named after George Arbuthnot.
^Frank H. H. King (January 1988). The History of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation: Volume 1, The Hongkong Bank in Late Imperial China 1864-1902: On an Even Keel. Cambridge University Press. p. 107. ISBN0-521-32706-7.