In 1795, Pieter Corbeels, a printer from Leuven moved together with his assistant Philippus Jacobus Brepols, to Turnhout, possibly to flee the French military which occupied Belgium at that time. Because Corbeels was executed for his fight against the French, his apprentice Philippus Jacobus Brepols, had to take over the responsibility for the printing company. The widow of Corbeels managed the business for short while, but from 1800 onwards P.J. Brepols gradually took over the house and the business. On 3 January 1845 P.J. Brepols died and the company was continued by his only daughter Antoinette Brepols, who in 1820 had married Jan Jozef Dierckx, a merchant.