Roberts was born at Beaumaris, Anglesey, some time in 1596, and died in London early in March 1640. His family became impoverished while he was still a Young man, compelling him to seek his fortune in overseas trade. He joined the East India Company in 1617 and Rose through its service, ultimately becoming a director. He was also employed by the Levant Company, often concurrently with his service with the East India Company, and spent most of the years 1617–38 overseas, in Madras, Calcutta and Constantinople among other places. Returning to England, he enjoyed a brief but comfortable retirement in London, during which he produced his two major works, The Marchants Map of Commerce (1638) and The Treasure of Traffike (1641), the latter published posthumously.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.