Flannel Shirts. Flannel has not been in general use until within the last sixty years. It was first used in Boston, as a dress next the skin, by Lord Percy's regiment, which was encamped on the common, in October, 1774. There was hardly flannel enough then in the whole town for that one regiment. Some time after Lord Percy began with flannel shirting, Sir Benjamin "Thompson (Count Rumford) published a pamphlet in America, assuming to have discovered the utility of this practice. He might, perhaps, Lave suggested the use of it to Lord Percy.