A "circus" is a circular arena surrounded by tiers of seats in which public entertainments are held. In ancient Rome a circus was a large, usually oblong or oval, roofless enclosure, surrounded by tiers of seats rising one above another, usually for chariot races. Rome has the Circus Maximus. London has Piccadilly Circus.
So here we have Arthur's Circus. Yes, it is the same Arthur who established the penal settlement that bears his name. The same Arthur who tried to erect a warming wall around the Botanical Gardens. Sir George Arthur, Governor of Van Dieman's Land from 1824 to 1836.
This area in the suburb of Battery Point was purchased by Arthur in 1829 from the Reverend Robert Knopwood.
When Arthur sold the land almost 20 years later, the auction advertisement described "delectable building sites in a neighbourhood that will inevitably become The Resort of the Beau Monde".
Politicians haven't changed much, have they?