This street was named after Colonel Archibald Anson, Lieutenant-Governor of Penang and a Major-General in Singapore. Together with Robinson Road, named after Sir William Robinson, the Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1877 to 1879, Anson Road was built on the levelled land on which Mount Wallich had once stood. This area formed part of Raffles Quay and was developed from the reclamation of Telok Ayer Basin in the 1880s. Started in 1879 and completed eight years later, the reclamation made possible new roads and wharf extensions, and as a result, the new roads improved traffic flow between harbour and town.Boustead Institute, in the centre, was at the junction of Anson and Tanjong Pagar Roads and was a hostel for merchant seamen. Built on land donated by the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company and financed by a bequest from Sir Edward Boustead in 1888, it was opened by Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, Governor of the Straits Settlements, in 1892.