As he started to find his feet following the death of Simon Langham, Adam’s reputation as a scholar and canon lawyer grew at the Roman Court or Curia. Then the smooth progress of his life was interrupted by the unexpected death of Gregory XI in 1377. This would mean the one thing the papacy had dreaded for 100 years and more - an election in the full view of the Roman mob.
The honourable way in which Adam defended the election and the selection of Urban VI marked him out. The way he spoke out against the (mostly French) defectors who finding Urban less generous than they hoped, went off and selected a new (French) pope who might help them more made the Norwich monk one of the most ardent supporters of Urban VI. The reward for his fidelity was not long in coming.