Warren was first settled in 1664 and was officially incorporated on January 16, 1741 as the town of Western.
Originally a part of Quaboag Plantation, the town now known as Warren was part of Brookfield for 68 years until it was renamed Western. Warren includes land petitioned from both the Quaboag Plantation and the "Kingsfield", which included parts of Palmer and Brimfield.
On March 13, 1834, the town was renamed Warren in honor of General Joseph Warren, who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War. The need to rename the town came about due to confusion of the name "Western" with the town of Weston, Massachusetts. According to the History of Warren Massachusetts by Olney I. Darling, Western was renamed Warren due to "countless mistakes in the transmission of the mails." On January 13, 1834, a town meeting was held to discuss a name change. Shortly thereafter, the town petitioned the legislature to change the name, which was soon done, and the first town meeting under the name "Warren" was held on April 28, 1834.
Two other places named "Warren" had existed in Massachusetts prior to 1834. The first Warren, now in Rhode Island, was located on land combining parts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony. In 1636, Roger Williams, banished from Salem, fled to the Indian village of Sowams, where he was sheltered by Massasoit until he settled at Providence.
Permanent English settlement east of the Indian village began. In 1653, Massasoit and his oldest son sold to certain Plymouth Colony settlers what is now Warren and parts of Barrington, Rhode Island, Swansea, Massachusetts, and Rehoboth, Massachusetts. In 1668, the township was officially incorporated with the name Sowams; in 1691, the Plymouth Colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Warren was ceded to Rhode Island from Massachusetts in 1747. The town was named "Warren" after a British naval hero, Admiral Sir Peter Warren, following a victory at Louisburg in 1745. At the time of cession in 1747, Barrington was unified with Warren, until it was separated again in 1770.
The second "Warren, Massachusetts" is now the town of Warren, Maine. On November 7, 1776, Upper Town of St. Georges Plantation was incorporated as a town and named after Joseph Warren, the Revolutionary War hero. Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820.
Warren in Worcester County historically contained the villages of #4 Village, Center Village, West Warren, Lower Village, and South Warren. Historical markers mark each of these areas, and West Warren and Warren each have their own zip codes.