Adelheid Luise "Adele" Spitzeder ([ˈaːdl̩haɪt ʔaˈdeːlə ˈʃpɪtˌtseːdɐ]; 9 February 1832 – 27 or 28 October 1895), also known by her stage name Adele Vio, was a German actress, folk singer, and con artist. Initially a promising young actress, Spitzeder became a well-known private banker in 19th-century Munich when her theatrical success dwindled. Running what was possibly the first recorded Ponzi scheme, she offered large returns on investments by continually using the money of new investors to pay back the previous ones. At the height of her success, contemporary sources considered her the wealthiest woman in Bavaria.
Anne Bonny (possibly 1697 – possibly April 1782) was an Irish pirate operating in the Caribbean, and one of the most famous female pirates of all time. The little that is known of her life comes largely from Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates.
Mary Read (1685 – 28 April 1721), also known as Mark Read, was an English pirate. She and Anne Bonny are two of the most famed female pirates of all time, and among the few women known to have been convicted of piracy during the early 18th century, at the height of the "Golden Age of Piracy".
While piracy was predominantly a male occupation, a minority of pirates were women. On many ships, women (as well as young boys) were prohibited by the ship's contract, which all crew members were required to sign. :303