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hi Kirsty
I know you posted somne time ago but I was curious so had a look at your brick wall, and got nowhere … there are trees on Ancestry that include Thomas, Mary Jane and family but none have anything about his life before their marriage …. one tree appears to be of someone who is a living direct descendant through one of their sons, so you it may be worth you checking that out
I noticed there was a death record for a Thomas Ford in 1857 in Leeds age 0, so the birth in 1856 may be a red herring
I do wonder whether the father’s name and occupation might have been made up by him or the result of the story Thomas was told by his mother; I have certainly come across this in my tree
also, the occupation of horse dealer may be a clue to an itinerant background, so I wonder how certain it is that Thomas was born in Leeds … I couldn’t find any record that fits at all, so hope you’ve had better luck