Rose was born in Lethnot, near Brechin, on 17 June 1744, and died at Cuffnells, near Lyndhurst, Hampshire on 13 January 1818. He was the son of David Rose, a nonjuring clergyman, and his wife Margaret. At age four he was sent to live with an uncle in Hampstead. He was educated at Westminster school, and then at age fourteen joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman. He saw service in home waters and the West Indies, and was twice wounded in action. Upon the conclusion of the Seven Years War in 1762, believing that he had little prospect for advancement in the navy, Rose left the service and took a post as a clerk in the record office of the Exchequer. His abilities brought him to the attention of his superiors, and he was appointed keeper of the records in 1772. From 1777–82 he was secretary to the Board of Taxes, and from 1782–3 was secretary to the Treasury in the administration of Lord Shelburne. He Fell out with Shelburne when the latter left office, and was reappointed secretary to the Treasury by Pitt, whose faction he now joined.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.