I chanced upon this rather informative blog post by Lauren Johnson (October 2013) regarding the status of noblewomen who lived through those turbulent times known as The Wars of the Roses. It formed part of her masters thesis The impact of the Wars of the Roses on Noblewomen, 1450-1509 (October 2007).
Here is a little teaser:
However, for every man directly involved in the Wars of the Roses there were numerous female relatives who were not only themselves affected by the conflict, but played an active part in it.
On the contrary, efforts to claw lands back to one’s family by battling through the law courts or pleading with prominent powerholders were deemed essential to those involved, and at a time when many men found themselves on the wrong side of the law or battlefield, and thus lost their authority (or their life), it fell to their wives and mothers to try to save their estates.
Read more of this and other interesting posts @ Lauren's Blog