Neil Gaiman is on record saying the people who captured Morpheus in issue #1 (i.e. Roderick Burgess and the Order of the Ancient Mysteries) are
completely rubbish, English, sort of Crowley-esque, hedge magicians
Do they deserve this evaluation, though? For one thing, the were able to capture Morpheus. Granted, he was very weak, but then it did require some preparation on their part to do so.
Roderick Burgess was also called the Daemon King; Alex Burgess states that he had seen things that were supposedly real magic; it's mentioned once (in Kindly Ones, if memory serves) that Aleister Crowley had admitted Roderick Burgess was the best of them. It's also postulated that he was able to summon the four winds to do his bidding (and that Alex was nothing like his father in that regard). Not to mention, of course, that Roderick was able to kill Sykes once he'd lost his protection amulet.
My point is, although we don't know any of their achievements, evidence points that they were real, qualified magicians, not to the opposite. What makes Neil Gaiman say so?